A bitter courtroom battle in Chicago is affecting places as diverse as Nevada and Mississippi. In January, Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc., the largest operator of casinos in the United States, filed for bankruptcy protection. Its parent company reportedly is not bankrupt. It is embroiled in a heated legal battle with creditors.
Two private equity firms control the parent company. TPG Capital Management LLC and Apollo Global Management, LLC conducted a leveraged buyout of $30.8 billion to obtain Harrah’s Entertainment in 2008. The operating company currently seeks to rid itself of nearly $18 billion in debt through the reorganization under Chapter 11 underway in Chicago.
This week, Anastasia Date reports that Caesar’s obtained permission to demolish one of three resort properties it owns in Tunica County, Mississippi. The facility was originally opened as Grand Casino Tunica in 1996 and was a part of Harrah’s. When Caesar’s closed Harrah’s in June, some 1,000 employees lost their jobs at that particular casino. The operating company has not yet filed for a demolition permit, but reportedly hopes to tear down the structure and salvage the contents.
Caesar’s seventh largest creditor, the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee Board, had vigorously opposed the demolition plan, contending that Caesar’s had not taken enough steps to sell Harrah’s. The Board alleged that the company did not want the casino remaining in operation in other hands, because it would compete with its two nearby Tunica resort properties.