Light & Wonder’s decision to partner up with online casino PlayStar is the latest in a series of moves that will help it take over the industry.
The company, which is owned by Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corporation, had been looking for an operator for its Light & Wonder brand since August 2011. While other companies were interested in acquiring the brand, none could meet the financial terms required by the company.
PlayStar has now agreed to purchase the assets and licenses of Light & Wonder Casinos and related gaming operations from Caesars’ subsidiary, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. The acquisition is expected to close during the third quarter of 2012. The transaction includes all casinos operated under the brands Light & Wonder, Flamingo Las Vegas, Ballys, Golden Gate, Imperial Palace, Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, Gold Coast, Stratosphere, Desert Inn, Paris Las Vegas, Flamingo Atlantic City, and Harveys. It also includes the rights to license the games developed by PlayStar under the Light & Wonder name.
The agreement provides for PlayStar to continue operating the casinos as they operate today, providing the company a solid platform from which to launch its own branded product. In addition, PlayStar will be able to offer players the same high quality games offered at these casinos under its own brand.
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“We are excited about this partnership,” said Steve Lavin, president of Caesars International’s Gaming Group. “PlayStar brings a unique approach to the development of new games and we look forward to seeing their offerings on our properties.”
PlayStar was founded in 2008 by brothers Michael and Jeffery Katz. The company operates 10 casinos in six states throughout the United States. Its flagship property is The LINQ Promenade, located in Las Vegas, Nevada. The LINQ Promenade features a 1,200 seat theater complex, shopping mall, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The LINQ Promenade is also home to the first IMAX Dome Theater in North America.
With the acquisition of Light & Wonder, PlayStar brings the number of its casinos up to 14. The company currently operates properties in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
In addition to the acquisition, the partnership between PlayStar and Caesars also includes a licensing agreement in which Caesars grants PlayStar a nonexclusive worldwide right to use the PlayStar logo and trademark with respect to its online products and services. This represents the first time that PlayStar has entered into such an agreement. The agreement also grants PlayStar the right to use any additional logos or marks belonging to Caesars.
As part of the agreements, PlayStar will assume responsibility for certain liabilities previously borne by Caesars. For example, PlayStar will become responsible for the payment of federal taxes on behalf of Caesars and will pay rent on Caesars’ premises where PlayStar has not yet begun to operate. In exchange, PlayStar will receive 100 percent ownership interest in Caesars’ subsidiary, Light & Wonder Holdings, LLC (LWH), which owns the assets and licenses associated with Light & Wonder Casinos.
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has grown to be one of the largest operators of casinos in the world, with approximately $8 billion in annual revenue, including the operations of Harrah’s, Vdara hotel/casino, Grand Victoria, and Flamingo resorts. Caesars Entertainment also operates more than 30 hotels in 15 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces.
About Caesars Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment Corporation owns and/or franchises more than 45 resort properties in 20 states, Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas and Macau. Caesars manages those properties through its subsidiaries, each of which specializes in a particular category of resort. With nearly 70 million square feet of leasable space, Caesars Entertainment is the second largest casino developer in North America behind only MGM Grand. For more information, visit www.caesarsentertainmentcorp.com.
PlayStar Entertainment is a privately held company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Founded in 2004, the company focuses on the design, development and operation of entertainment venues. PlayStar offers a variety of live entertainment experiences, including concerts, comedy shows, family shows and special events. PlayStar is known for its cutting edge technology and cutting edge production methods.