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Caesars Entertainment CEO Loveman Stepping Down

Updated, Feb. 6 at 8:30 a.m.

The chairman of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Gary Loveman, is stepping down. 

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Loveman, 54, will leave the CEO position June 30 and will be replaced by the former CEO of rental-car company Hertz, Mark Frissora, pending his approval by regulators.

Loveman, who has been in the gaming industry since 1998, will stay on as chairman and oversee the restructuring of Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, CEOC, which filed a pre-packaged bankruptcy in Chicago last month.

"After 12 years as CEO, Caesars has accomplished more than what we could have imagined when I arrived in 1988," Loveman said in a statement. "Now with the company in the midst of a formal restructuring of one of its subsidiaries and a merger between entities, the time is ripe for transition."

Loveman said he was confident the efforts to restructure CEOC "will position Caesars for growth and prosperity for many years to come.

Loveman is known for creating Total Rewards, the first loyalty program in the industry, and for increasing the company's value from $7.9 billion to $30 billion at the time the company became private in 2008.

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Meanwhile, Frissora, 59, will earn $1.8 million as CEO of Caesars, according to a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The gaming company said Frissora was given a four-year contract.

Gaming Industry News & Notes

MLB Support Gambling? – New commissioner Rob Manfred says he would be open to Major League Baseball considering a new strategy to legalize sports gambling. Manfred told ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Thursday that, “It’s important for baseball to give fresh consideration to the issue." Manfred joins NBA commissioner Adam Silver in discussing changing their attitudes toward legalized sports betting in the U.S. In a New York Times editorial in November, Silver wrote, “I believe that sports betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be properly monitored and regulated.”

Online Gaming Ban – Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah reintroduced a bill to ban most online gambling in the U.S. The bill known as the Restoration of American’s Wire Act will put an end to regulated online poker in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey. The bill will include non-sporting events in its prohibition, and rollback an opinion by the U.S. Department of Justice, which states the 1961 Wire Act applies only to sporting events. Online lotteries would also be prohibited, but the bill includes carve outs for online horse racing and fantasy sports.

Station Casinos bets on Baldini’s – Station Casinos is entering the Northern Nevada sports betting business with its deal to take over the race and sports book at Baldini’s Casino in Sparks. Station Casinos will replace existing book operator William Hill. The Las Vegas-based gaming company will renovate the sports book and link it with Station Casinos’ other 15 race and sports books.

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Howard Stutz, gaming columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal
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(Editor's note: Chris Sieroty no longer works for Nevada Public Radio)