Speculation about the potential sale of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas has emerged once again, with less than six weeks before the 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) kicks off at the Rio Convention Centre.
The Rio has been the home of the world’s largest poker tournament series for 15 long years. Originally playing out at Binion’s Horseshoe since 1970, the WSOP moved to the Rio in 2005.
Talk of the Vegas venue being put on sale has been going on since last year. While there has been no confirmation yet coming from Caesars Entertainment, there is now more clarity as to who are the potential list of buyers.
Plans for the sale of the Rio are reportedly being worked out, with the property set to get a new owner in the coming months. This hearsay has been doing the rounds on Twitter initially, but last week a number of publications broke down the list of potential suitors who are expected to make a bid for the acquisition.
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Also interesting was the fact that new reports emerged about Caesars Entertainment also putting itself up for sale. An article in The New York Post stated the company’s board agreed to proceed with the sale after Carl Icahn persistently pushed for the company to be sold. Billionaire Icahn now owns 10 percent of Caesars and controls three board seats.
Reports also suggest that Tilman Fertitta, owner of Landry’s Inc. which is one of the biggest restaurant corporations in the US, could be among potential suitors of Caesars. Fertitta also owns the Houston Rockets NBA franchise, as well as several Vegas casinos has been interested in Caesars for a long time. Fertitta put forward a merger proposal to Caesars in 2018 but it was turned down as the offer was too low. It looks like Fertitta and Icahn could team up to get the sale finalized this time around.
As the WSOP prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary and kick off its record 89-bracelet tournament on May 29, it is quite possible that this will be the last time that the Rio hosts the world’s biggest poker tournament.
If the Rio is sold, the WSOP might have to find a new home. The WSOP will stay in Las Vegas and a potential venue that might be looked at could be the new Caesar Entertainment’s $375 million conference center which is located at Caesars Forum.