Caesars sells part of interactive gaming subsidiary

4 April 2012

Caesars Entertainment sold an undisclosed percentage of its interactive gaming subsidiary to its partner in two Ohio casinos for $60.8 million, the company disclosed late Monday.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said Rock Gaming purchased 50 percent of the more than 12,300 shares on Friday. The remainder are due to be acquired by July 2.

Rock Gaming has an option to purchase an additional 3,140 shares for $19.2 million by Nov. 15, Caesars said in the filing.

Caesars Interactive operates the company Internet gaming businesses in Europe and the World Series of Poker. Caesars Interactive is headed by Mitch Garber and is based in Montreal.

Last year, Nevada gaming regulators approved a business relationship between Caesars Interactive and 888 Holdings, which is based in Gibraltar and provides the equipment, software and security to operate the websites. It was the first time regulators approved a relationship between a state-licensed casino company and a foreign-based Internet gaming operator.

Caesars and Rock Gaming, which is controlled by Dan Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans and owner of the National Basketball Association's Cleveland Cavaliers, are partners in two Ohio casino developments in Cincinnati and Cleveland.

Caesars owns 20 percent of the joint venture and will manage the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, which is expected to open next month, and the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, which is expected to open in 2013.

Caesars and Rock Gaming have also filed a gaming license application in Maryland to operate slot machine-only casino in Baltimore.

Caesars did not give a reason for the stock sale in the SEC filing.

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