Beautifully engraved specimen certificate from the Harrah's
printed in 1988. This historic document was printed by the Federated Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of a young woman. This item is over 24 years old.
Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. is a gaming corporation that owns and operates casinos, hotels, and five golf courses under several brands. The company, based in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the largest gaming company in the world, with yearly revenues around $7.11 billion.
On December 19, 2006, the company's board of directors voted to accept a buyout offer from Apollo Management and Texas Pacific Group for $17 billion, or $90-per-share.
The company known as Harrah's Entertainment was founded on October 30, 1937 as a small bingo parlor in Reno, Nevada operated by William F. Harrah.
1937: Bill Harrah opens his first bingo parlor in Reno.
1946: Bill Harrah opens Harrah's Club in downtown Reno.
1955-56: Harrah's purchases several clubs at Lake Tahoe.
1962: Harrah's constructs 400-room hotel tower in Reno.
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 gaming company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
1978: Bill Harrah dies.
February 1980: Holiday Inn acquires Harrah's. Holiday Inn has 1,600 hotels and interests in two casinos: one under construction in Atlantic City and a 40 percent ownership interest in River Boat Casino, a casino adjacent to the Holiday Inn hotel on the Strip.
January 1983: Holiday Inn acquires the remaining 60 percent interest in River Boat Casino. Harrah's assumes management of the casino and hotel.
May 1985: Holiday Inn shareholders approved a new corporate name, Holiday Corp., which operates several products: Harrah's Casinos, Holiday Inn hotels, Embassy Suites hotels and Hampton Inn hotels.
August 1988: Harrah's Laughlin opens.
August 1989: Holiday Corp. board approves acquisition of the Holiday Inn hotel business by Bass PLC.
January 1990: Holiday stockholders approve transfer of Holiday Inn hotel business to Bass PLC and spin-off of the remaining brands (Harrah's, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites) into The Promus Companies.
February 1990: Promus Companies common stock begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PRI.
February 1991: Phil Satre named president and chief operating officer of Promus.
April 1992: Conversion of Holiday Casino in Las Vegas to Harrah's Las Vegas completed.
May 1993: Harrah's Joliet opens.
November 1993: Harrah's Vicksburg and Harrah's Tunica open.
April 1994: Harrah's Shreveport opens.
April 1994: Phil Satre named Promus chief executive officer.
September 1994: Harrah's North Kansas City opens.
December 1994: Harrah's Ak-Chin casino opens near Phoenix, marking the first Indian gaming operation for Harrah's.
June 1995: Promus Companies spin off the hotel brands into a new corporation, Harrah's Entertainment, returning the name to the New York Stock Exchange for the first time since 1980. Harrah's stock symbol is HET.
September 1997: Harrah's launches Total Gold, the industry's first fully integrated national player rewards and recognition program.
October 1997: A $200 million expansion of Harrah's Las Vegas is completed.
June 1998: Harrah's completes a $1 billion acquisition of Showboat Inc., giving Harrah's four additional properties. Harrah's later sells Showboat's Las Vegas and Australia properties.
January 1999: Harrah's purchases the Rio.
January 2000: Harrah's signs letter of intent to develop and operate a casino and hotel in San Diego County, the first agreement reached between a California Indian tribe and a major gaming company.
March 2000: Harrah's completes its $439 million purchase of Players International.
July 2001: Harrah's completes a $712 million purchase of Harveys Casino Resorts. The purchase adds four properties to the Harrah's including Harveys Lake Tahoe.
August 2002: The $125 million Harrah's Rincon opens San Diego.
December 2002: Harrah's completes its acquisition of JCC Holding, the owner of Harrah's New Orleans.
January 2003: Gary Loveman becomes chief executive officer of Harrah's, succeeding Phil Satre who retires after 10 years as CEO.
April 2004: Harrah's and MTR Gaming Group reopen Binion's Horseshoe, three months after the legendary downtown casino was forced to close. MTR owns the property, but Harrah's will operate the Horseshoe for at least one year. As part of the deal, Harrah's acquires the rights to the World Series of Poker.
May 2004: The first World Series of Poker under Harrah's is completed with more than $41 million in prize money awarded, nearly double the amount awarded in 2003.
July 2004: Harrah's completes its $1.45 billion acquisition of Horseshoe Gaming, giving Harrah's control of three Midwest Horseshoe casinos.
July 2004: Harrah's reaches a definitive agreement to acquire Caesars Entertainment for $9.4 billion.
October 2004: Phil Satre announces his retirement as Harrah's chairman; he is replaced by Gary Loveman.
June 13, 2005: Harrah's buyout of Caesars closes.
History from Wikipeida and OldCompanyResearch.com.
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates we made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that grown in popularity over the past several years.