Linklaters wins Harrah’s casino expansion work

Linklaters has won Harrah’s Entertainment as a new client, advising the Las Vegas-based gambling giant on a deal to extend its empire into Europe and Africa.

Harrah’s is the owner of casinos operating under the Harrah’s and Horseshoe names. It also bought the high-profile Caesar’s casino brand last year.

The latest deal, a recommended £279.3m cash offer for London Clubs International (LCI), sees the company add six UK casinos to its portfolio, as well as one in South Africa, two in Egypt and a further six proposed sites in the UK. Harrah’s made the takeover through its subsidiary Dagger Holdings.

The Linklaters team was led by London corporate partner Olivia McKendrick, co-head of the firm’s leisure and hotels group.

McKendrick explained that the firm did not pitch for the work but won it for a number of reasons, including partner contacts in three locations of interest for Harrah’s in Europe and the Americas. She added that Harrah’s has not confirmed that the relationship will be ongoing, but added that she would be “disappointed if this was a one-off”.

Harrah’s also received gaming regulatory advice from City firm Joelson Wilson.

LCI was advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, led by London-based M&A partner Allan Murray-Jones.