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Caesars sells Rio Casino, retains WSOP


Caesars Entertainment has agreed the $516.3m sale of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, the Las Vegas-based venue that has served as the home of the World Series of Poker since 2005.

It is to be sold to a company controlled by a principal of real estate investment vehicle Imperial Companies, with the deal expected to conclude in the fourth quarter of the year.

Caesars will continue to operate the property for at least the next two years and pay rent of $45m per year. At the end of the two year period, Caesars may continue to operate the Rio or provide transition services to the buying company as it seeks a new operator.

The Rio, the first all-suite resort in the Las Vegas area, includes 117,330 sq ft of gaming space and has been the home of the World Series of Poker since 2005. The World Series of Poker will continue to be hosted at the Rio in 2020, and Caesars Entertainment will hold the hosting rights for all tournaments from 2021 onward.

“This deal allows Caesars Entertainment to focus our resources on strengthening our attractive portfolio of recently renovated Strip properties and is expected to result in incremental EBITDA at those properties,” Tony Rodio, chief executive of Caesars Entertainment, said.

“The retention of the World Series of Poker and retention of Caesars Rewards customers are all factors that make this a valuable transaction for Caesars.”

In June, Caesars agreed a $17.3bn merger with Eldorado Resorts, with the combined entity to trade under the Caesars brand.