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November 22, 2014

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Harrah’s hails Caesars

What's in a name?

For Harrah's Entertainment, which is losing the international expansion race

to Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and MGM Mirage, apparently not enough.

That's why Harrah's is changing its name to Caesars Entertainment Corp.

The name change, announced Wednesday, won't affect the names of any existing casinos. The company has spent hundreds of millions of dollars cultivating the blue-collar Harrah's brand, born with company founder Bill Harrah in Reno more than 70 years ago, for its regional casinos in the United States.

But the real money these days is in international expansion and the Harrah's brand isn't cutting it with foreign investors and governments, executives say.

The Caesars name – synonymous with opulence and marquee entertainment – is world famous.

While Wynn and Las Vegas Sands' Venetian have cultivated their own deluxe casino brands from scratch, Harrah's, which bought its way into the club with its purchase of Caesars Entertainment in 2005, will spend even more money to appease foreigners who want to attract the Gucci, rather than the JC Penney, of the casino business.

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