Jonathan Raineau Craft Talk
Weekly Meeting December 11, 2019
Pictured above are Avery Yudien, Program Chairman and Jonathan Raineau, President of Sheraton Hotel and Casino.
My story begins with my grandparents. My mother’s parents were from Hungary and immigrated to Mississippi where she was born and raised. My grandfather was a commercial fisherman and passed away before I was born. My grandmother raised two children but suffered from a bad case of Alzheimer’s at the age of 60 and passed away10 years later. I still have a cousin from my mother’s side of the family, but no other relatives.
I lived with my mom after my parents divorced. She had a horse farm in Connecticut, and as much as I hated all the work and responsibilities it gave, I had a lot of fun growing up there. My mother’s love for horses is what ultimately brought my parents together.
My father’s parents came from Vendome, France. My grandfather grew up on a horse farm as well, where he made a name for himself by training and driving buggy horses, trotters specifically. Racing horses allowed him to visit other countries and to develop relationships abroad. My paternal grandmother oversaw the household and raised three children. Before they got married, my grandmother was one of the first flight attendants for Air France.
Growing up in the horse trade industry, my grandfather found an opportunity with horse meat distribution. In those days, it was a common practice to unload undesirable horses to the slaughterhouse. It was also common that horse meat was sold for human consumption. He saw an opportunity at this time in history because the price of beef was very high. Horses were being replaced by cars and tractors and much of modern-day Europe, Russia and Asia lived off horse meat. In turn, my grandfather became one of the largest horse meat distributors in the world.
His success opened the doors to the casino business. In 1975, he purchased his first casino in Lyon, France. Today the Raineau Group has 17 casinos, 5 hotels and over 50 residential and commercial properties that make up our real estate portfolio.
My father was born in Paris, France and immigrated to the USA at the age of 22 to expand the family business of horse meat distribution. In the late ‘90s he moved to Argentina to expand the casino business.
I was born and raised in a small town called Plainfield, Connecticut. I lived there until I went to Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. In college, I studied Hotel and Restaurant Management, but I quickly learned how to deal Roulette at the Mohegan Sun Casino.
After graduation I moved to Temecula, California to work at Pechanga Casino. After two years there I moved to Paris to begin working with the family business.