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Harrah's Casino Timeline/History

1937 Bill Harrah opens his first bingo parlor in Reno, Nevada.
1946 Bill Harrah opens Harrah's Club at its present location on North Virginia Street in downtown Reno.
1955-1956Harrah's purchases several clubs at Lake Tahoe in Stateline, Nevada, beginning what would become today's Harrah's Lake Tahoe.
1959 Harrah's begins expansion of Lake Tahoe facility, including the world famous South Shore Room.
1964 8,500 square foot expansion to Harrah's Lake Tahoe begins.
1971 Harrah's begins public trading with issue of 450,000 over-the-counter shares.
1972 Harrah's is listed on the American Stock Exchange.
1973 Harrah's becomes first casino company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
1978 Harrah's founder, William F. Harrah, dies.
February, 1980 Holiday Inns, Incorporated acquires Harrah's. Holiday Inn at the time has 1,600 hotels and interests in two casinos: a casino under construction in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and 40 percent ownership in the River Boat Casino adjacent to the Holiday Inn in Las Vegas.
January, 1983 Holiday Inn acquires the remaining 60 percent interest in the River Boat Casino, Harrah's assumes management of the casino and hotel.
May, 1985 Holiday Inns, Inc. shareholders approved a new corporate name, Holiday Corporation. The new umbrella organization reflects the growing diversity of the company's products -- Harrah's Casinos, Holiday Inn hotels, Embassy Suites hotels and Hampton Inn hotels.
August, 1988 Harrah's Laughlin opens, a second hotel tower is built months later.
August, 1989 Holiday Corporation's board approves acquisition of the Holiday Inn hotel business by Bass PLC.
November, 1989 Holiday announces name of new spin-off company, The Promus Companies Incorporated.
January, 1990 Holiday stockholders approve transfer of Holiday to Bass PLC and the spin-off of Holiday Corporation's remaining brands (including Harrah's) and assets into The Promus Companies.
February, 1990 The Promus Companies Incorporated common stock begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol PRI).
June, 1991 Harrah's headquarters relocates to Memphis from Reno.
April, 1992 Conversion of Holiday Casino in Las Vegas to Harrah's Las Vegas completed.
November, 1992 Promus acquires interest in Sodak Gaming Supplies. Sodak is the exclusive distributor for International Game Technology which handles gaming equipment on Indian reservations.
May, 1993 Harrah's Joliet opens, this is the companies first riverboat casino. A second riverboat casino is opened less than a year later in Joliet.
November, 1993 Harrah's Vicksburg and Harrah's Tunica open. A second Tunica, Mississippi casino is opened in April 1996

April, 1994 Harrah's Shreveport opens.
September, 1994 Harrah's North Kansas City opens.
December, 1994 Harrah's Ak-Chin casino opens near Phoenix. It is the first Indian gaming operation for Harrah's.
June, 1995 The Promus Companies Incorporated spins-off its hotel brands into a new corporation. The remaining company, which consists of the Harrah's brand and Promus headquarters, is then named Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., Harrah's stock symbol is HET and traded on the NYSE.
December, 1995 The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe and Harrah's open a casino entertainment complex in Washington state, approximately 70 miles north of Seattle.
February, 1996 Harrah's opens its first international casino entertainment complex in Auckland, New Zealand.
March, 1997 Harrah's St. Louis-Riverport, a riverboat casino entertainment complex in Maryland Heights, Missouri, opens.
May, 1997 Harrah's and the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Indians break ground for a new casino to be located near Topeka, Kansas.
September, 1997 Harrah's launches Total Gold, a player rewards and recognition program for the Harrah's brand. Much like an airline frequent flyer program, it allows customers to earn points for slot play and redeem them for cash, merchandise, food, lodging etc.. The program is patented in 1998.
October, 1997 Harrah's celebrates its 60th anniversary.
November, 1997 Harrah's Cherokee Smoky Mountains opens in the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina.
January, 1998 Harrah's Prairie Band opens in Kansas, approximately 15 miles north of Topeka.
June, 1998 Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. acquires Showboat, Inc.. Showboat properties are located in Atlantic City, New Jersey; East Chicago, Indiana; Las Vegas, Nevada and Sydney, Australia. The Sydney property operates under the name Star City.
July, 1998 Harrah's invests in a start-up airline to be based in Las Vegas, offering flights from most of Harrah's key customer feeder markets. The investment in National Airlines, Inc. is an investment which allows the company to offer additional valued services and conveniences to its customers.
August, 1998 Harrah's and Rio Hotel and Casino, Inc. announce the signing of a merger agreement in which the Rio Suite Hotel & Casino will become a part of Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. The agreement, subject to various approvals, will bring a true Las Vegas destination into Harrah's, complimenting the successful Harrah's Las Vegas strip casino.
January, 1999 Harrah's and Rio Hotel & Casino, Inc. complete merger.
January, 1999 Harrah’s announces plans to relocate its corporate headquarters from Memphis, Tennessee, to Las Vegas, Nevada.
June, 1999 Harrah’s Reno purchases adjacent properties, Nevada Club and Harolds Club, plans to consolidate the property into Harrah’s Reno.