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Harrah's New Horseshoes

By Jeff Hwang - Updated Nov 16, 2016 at 1:43PM

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Harrah's to rebrand two Caesars properties as Horseshoes.

With its recent acquisitions of Caesars Entertainment and Horseshoe Gaming complete, casino behemoth Harrah's Entertainment (NYSE:HET) is expected to move forward predominantly with three brands: Harrah's for retail, the Horseshoe for high-end local casinos, and Caesars for premium resorts. The company just completed the Caesars acquisition in June but is already taking steps in its new brand scheme.

On Thursday, Harrah's announced that it would rebrand the newly acquired Caesars Indiana property in Elizabeth, Ind. -- just across the river from Louisville, Ky. -- using the "legendary" Horseshoe brand. Caesars' Grand Casino Biloxi along the Mississippi Gulf Coast will get the same treatment, making the two casinos the fifth and sixth Horseshoe-branded properties under Harrah's control.

Harrah's expects the conversion process to take "a year or more" as the company moves to make upgrades to customer service, dining, and entertainment at the properties.

I'm actually a little surprised that the company chose the Caesars Indiana property for rebranding; after all, Caesars is one of its three core brands. In addition, the resort-style property is a bit more comprehensive than any of the Horseshoe properties acquired, with an 18-hole golf course and 24,000 square feet of convention space.

But the casino and hotel fit the bill perfectly. The casino is a relatively spacious four-level riverboat with a recently expanded 21-table poker room. It has virtually no competition, and the 141 overall table games (including poker) also make it the biggest game across the riverboat states. As for the lodgings, just change the wreaths into horseshoes (they're about the same shape anyway), and the 503-room Caesars hotel could easily be a Horseshoe.

The conversion of the Grand Casino Biloxi in Mississippi will further extend the reach of the Horseshoe brand, and it makes sense -- the company also has the Grand Casino Gulfport on the Gulf Coast. Other players operating in that market include MGM Mirage (NYSE:MGM), Penn National (NASDAQ:PENN), and Isle of Capri (NASDAQ:ISLE).

Back in September 2003, Harrah's announced the $1.45 billion acquisition of Horseshoe Gaming, giving the company the three Horseshoe-branded riverboat properties the company now owns. In November 2004, the company also announced that it would convert the Bluffs Run racino (race track and slot machine operation) in the Council Bluffs, Iowa market -- where the company competes head-to-head with Ameristar Casinos (NASDAQ:ASCA) -- into the company's fourth Horseshoe-branded property following an expansion. It's expected to be complete during the first quarter of 2006.

Horseshoe Properties


Gaming Space*

Table Games


Hotel Rooms

Horseshoe Tunica





Horseshoe Hammond





Horseshoe Bossier City





Bluffs Run**





Grand Casino Biloxi





Caesars Indiana





*Square feet
**Upon conversion to Horseshoe Council Bluffs in 2006

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Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns shares of Ameristar Casinos. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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