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In an attempt to set the record straight about one of its best customers, Caesars Palace took the unusual step of disclosing the casino losses of Celine Dion's husband and manager, René Angélil.

It did so because of a report in London's Observer that quoted a senior official of Caesars' corporate parent as saying that Angélil gambled as much as $1-million (U.S.) a week. Jan Jones, senior vice-president of communications and government relations for Caesars owner, Harrah's Entertainment Inc., later said she was speaking hypothetically and that she did not know how much he gambled. She also apologized for referring to him by name.

Caesars said that Angélil's casino losses in 2005 and 2006 totalled exactly $230,300 (U.S.), but were offset by his tournament poker winnings of $259,079. The casino said it released the totals with his permission.

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"In life and in business, René is a winner, and one of the finest people I have ever known," Caesars president Gary Selesner said in a statement.

"Caesars Palace is very sorry for any embarrassment that may have resulted from the media speculation." AP

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