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November 23, 2014

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Harrah’s adds Lynn Swann to its board

Harrah's Entertainment suffered a setback in 2006 when the company lost its bid to build a casino in Pittsburgh to Don Barden, the Detroit businessman who owns the Fitzgeralds casino chain.

Instead, Harrah's may have gotten the next best thing: Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann, who played for the Steelers during a golden period for the team in the 1970s. Swann joins the company's board of directors, bringing the total number of board members to 13.

Also Tuesday, Harrah's added former Harrah's Chief Financial Officer Chuck Atwood, former Walmart.com and Banana Republic Chief Executive Jeanne Jackson and Christopher Williams, an investment banker and director of Wal-Mart Stores, to the board.

While Swann may not be able to help Harrah's get a lucrative Pittsburgh casino, his connections in Pennsylvania, where and where he serves as a director of the Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Co. and Pittsburgh giant H.J. Heinz Co., still might prove valuable.

Harrah's operates a racetrack casino in the Philadelphia suburb of Chester.

The Republican businessman lost a bid for governor of Pennsylvania in 2006 to Democrat Ed Rendell and was one of few black gubernatorial candidates nationwide that year.

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