Caesar's unit says it filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in bid to trim its $18.4 billion debt burden

Markets Associated Press

A subsidiary of casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. said Thursday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Chicago in an effort to shed more than half of its $18.4 billion debt burden.

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Caesar's has been negotiating with creditors and lenders for months on a reorganization plan that would turn the division into a real estate investment trust — one to own properties and the other to lease properties — promising creditors cash or new debt.

The division, Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., owns and operates most of Caesars' 50 properties worldwide and the company has said it intends to keep the casino-hotels running, despite the bankruptcy filing.

The operating division employs 36,000 people at 38 casino-hotels including the flagship Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip.