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Top Harrah's executive in Asia departs

11 Oct 2010

By Howard Stutz
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Harrah's Entertainment's top executive in Asia left the company last week, leading some to wonder if the casino operator has given up on its hopes to operate a casino in Macau.

Michael Chen left his position as Harrah's Asia operations president and started a yearlong sabbatical last Friday.

"I was offered a position in Las Vegas at Harrah's which is great but I need some time off and they agreed to it," Chen told Macau Business newsletter at a conference in Singapore.

Chen was responsible for developing of Harrah's business in Asia.

But the company hasn't been successful in gaining a foothold in Asia.

Harrah's lost out on a bid for one of two Singapore casinos in 2006. Harrah's spent $577.7 million in 2007 to buy a 175-acre golf course in Macau near the Cotai Strip. The company hoped to place a Caesars-branded casino on the site but Macau decided not to grant any more gaming concessions.

Prior to his position in Asia, Chen was a corporate director and executive associate to Harrah's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Loveman.

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