Harrah's Tunica to Close in June

By Bill Dries

Harrah’s Tunica casino will close June 2, according to an announcement Wednesday, March 26, by Caesars Entertainment, the parent company of Harrah’s

The casino at 13615 Old Highway 61 North in Tunica includes a hotel.

“The difficult decision to close the property follows persistent declines in business and increased competition,” the written announcement reads.

Caesar’s Entertainment, the parent company of Harrah’s still has the Horseshoe Casino and the Tunica Roadhouse Casino and Hotel in Tunica County.

Employees at Harrah’s Tunica were told of the closing Wednesday, March 26, hours before the formal announcement.

“After exploring every other viable alternative, we have come to the difficult but necessary conclusion to close Harrah’s Tunica,” said John Payne, president of central markets and partnership development for Caesars, in the written statement.

Payne also cited the need to “ensure the long term viability of our remaining operations in the vicinity.”

Caesars added that it is working to identify new uses for the site and that Harrah’s employees in Tunica will be given preference in available jobs at other Caesar’s properties including the two other Tunica operations.

Caesar’s reported a seven percent drop in casino revenues across its operations in 2013, compared to 2012. That included a 5.1 percent drop in casino revenues for the fourth quarter of 2013.

In its year end earnings report to analysts in March, Caesar’s executives attributed the drop in casino revenues to “the continued impact of increased regional competition and continued softness in the domestic gaming market in certain U.S. regional markets outside of Nevada,” according to a company press release.

In February, Caesar’s closed its Golden Nugget casino in England.

And March 1, Caeasar’s announced it was selling four U.S. properties, including Bally’s Las Vegas and Harrah’s New Orleans to Caesar’s Growth Partners LLC.

Caesar’s Growth Partners is described by the company as an asset and entertainment company known for its use of interactive technology and online and mobile gaming.