Caesars estimates pandemic losses at $ 2 billion and wants insurers to pay


Casino giant Caesars Entertainment Inc. estimates its losses due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 at more than $ 2 billion, and is suing a long list of insurance companies it accuses of refusing to pay its costs of insurance. business disruption.

In a lawsuit in Nevada state court, Caesars names 60 insurers it says are rejecting its claims to recover losses below about $ 3.4 billion in insurance policies it had for catastrophic business losses.

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A Caesars spokeswoman, Chelsea Ryder, said Thursday the company had no further comment on the lawsuit.

Representatives for most insurers did not immediately respond to emails about the breach of contract case and unfair claims practices filed March 19 in Clark County District Court.

Robyn Ziegler, a spokeswoman for insurer Zurich NA, said it was not her company’s practice to comment on litigation.

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty said it is evaluating claims from companies around the world and will honor claims related to COVID-19 “when they are part of our policies and the coverage is clear.”

“However, many companies will not have purchased coverage that allows them to claim their insurance for pandemic losses from COVID-19,” he said.

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Caesars was acquired last July by Reno-based Eldorado Resorts Inc., making it the world’s largest casino owner. It retained the Caesars Entertainment name and operates more than 50 casino properties in 14 US states, including eight Las Vegas Strip resorts.

His attorneys said in the civil lawsuit that he paid $ 25 million in premiums to companies ranging from Ace American Insurance to XL Insurance.

“In particular, insurers have made it clear that they are unwilling to underwrite the risks posed by a pandemic in the future,” the lawsuit says. “This new exclusion language … confirms that this risk was covered and not excluded in all the risk policies at issue in this lawsuit.”

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The lawsuit was first reported Monday by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which noted that it was not the first of its kind among Las Vegas casino operators.

Circus Circus, owned by Phil Ruffin, filed court papers to appeal a ruling last month by U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey dismissing a federal breach of contract case filed last July against AIG Specialty Insurance Co.

The Treasure Island casino, also owned by Ruffin, is suing Affiliated FM Insurance Co. on similar grounds. That case is pending in federal court in Las Vegas.

The casinos were among the many businesses that were ordered to close last year when the coronavirus pandemic was known in Nevada and the other states where Caesars operates: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio. and Pennsylvania.

Heart Security Latest Change Change %
CZR CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT 86.94 +4.04 + 4.87%

Caesars said in its lawsuit that it laid off many of its 79,000 employees, but continued to pay them for up to six weeks and paid more than $ 16 million to employees who couldn’t work because they or someone they came in contact with tested positive for the virus.

The shows and conventions were turned off, along with more than 65,000 slot machines, 3,400 table games, and 47,000 hotel rooms. The company said it lost more than 110,000 guests a day.

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In a Security and Exchange Commission filing for the fiscal year ending December 31, Caesars said the outbreak “affected our operations and caused an economic downturn, widespread unemployment and an adverse impact on consumer confidence.”

“We expect COVID-19 to continue to have a material impact on our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations (including revenue and profitability) for an extended period,” he said.

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