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

MarketsAssociated 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.

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.

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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.