Everyone thought that the first property Caesars Entertainment would get rid of would be Bally, in Atlantic City. However, it seems that the Eldorado Caesars Merger is impacting Las Vegas more than Atlantic City. At least for now…
Indeed, in recent news, we’ve learned that Caesars sold the Rio for a huge $516.3 Million. And most savvy poker players will know that the Rio is where the World Series of Poker tournaments (WSOP) takes place every year.
Since the news went public, most poker players wonder how the property sale will impact the 2020 WSOP. After all, the WSOP celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. And it would be a shame to lose such Event, but all hope is not lost.
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The Future of the World Series of Poker
As far as we know, the WSOP will still go ahead at the Rio in 2020. However, there’s no commitment for 2021 yet. So a change of venue is probable, and mostly because the WSOP hosting rights will remain with Caesars.
But as far as the Rio is concerned, Caesars will keep managing the operations for another two years minimum. And consequently, they’ll pay rent to the new owners (a New York Real estate firm).
To sum up, under the sale terms, Caesars will pay an annual rent of $45 million. The buyers can then choose to extend the lease for another year if they pay Caesars another $7 million. However, they could also ask to take over management at the end of those 2 years. And this may mean the end of the WSOP at the RIO.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking that the RIO may lose the WSOP is, what are the alternatives? Caesars owns many Casino on the strip. And casinos that may be more suitable for the ever-growing Event.
After All, poker players have often criticized the Rio’s location and outdated looks. And because of this, many prefer to stay at the Paris, the Linq or the Planet Hollywood (which Caesars also owns). And these hotels could make fantastic WSOP host too.
But so far, Caesar has not confirmed any alternative for 2021. And perhaps this has a lot to do with the fact that the company also said they want to “unload at least one Caesars’ property on the Las Vegas Strip”. And consequently, any of these hotels could change hands by 2021…
So stay tuned, this story is still unfolding.