Harrah's forms Interactive Entertainment unit
Harrah's Entertainment announced that it has established a new subsidiary, Harrah's Interactive Entertainment Inc. (HIE) to manage the global growth of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and explore a European interactive strategy.
"As the world's largest gaming company, Harrah's is taking a proactive approach toward international and interactive expansion," said Harrah's Entertainment Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Loveman. "It is important we position ourselves to explore new markets as well as new technologies with our best in class brands."
Mitch Garber, a longtime gaming lawyer and public company senior executive, joins HIE as CEO. Jeffrey Pollack, commissioner of the WSOP, remains in that role and will become president of HIE.
In addition to growing the World Series of Poker, HIE will explore the use of interactive gaming technologies to expand the reach of Harrah's brands globally, starting in Europe. With its renowned Total Rewards customer-loyalty program, HIE will be utilized to develop new opportunities to strengthen and grow Harrah's customer base.
The World Series of Poker, in its 40th year, has experienced record growth in the last five years. Participants from 124 nations competed in last year's tournament, up from 24 just five years ago and entrants have gone from 13,036 to 58,720 during the same span. The WSOP expanded into Europe in 2007 with the creation of the World Series of Poker Europe held each fall in London.