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Harrahs Reportedly Eyeing Stanley and LCI

Harrah's Entertainment is reportedly planning to take over two large casino operators in Britain to break into the region's market.

Harrah's is said to be studying a proposal to acquire Stanley Leisure and London Clubs International, two companies who are also involved in their own GBP643 million merger talks.

Stanley is a well-known casino operator, and its properties include The Colony Club, The Mint, and The Palm Beach Casinos in London.

LCI on the other hand operates four casinos in London, including the Sportsman and the Rendezvous in Southend and Brighton.

Harrah's is said to have already made a detailed appraisal of the two companies. However, it was not certain whether Harrah's will make the move before or after the planned merger of the two companies.

Harrah's is reportedly expanding its overseas operations because of concerns about the high costs of constructing casinos in their home-base Las Vegas. Last year, the company signed agreements to develop casinos in Slovenia and Madrid.

A spokesman for Harrah's however said that he had "no knowledge" of any corporate activity involving Stanley Leisure.

Stanley has been enjoying a rise in the number of visitors in its provincial casinos following the easing of gambling laws in Britain. The deregulation lifted the rule of punters needing to register 24 hours in advance. The relaxed laws also lifted the limits on jackpot prizes.