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Caesars sells Rio hotel and casino for $516m

Caesars Entertainment Corporation has signed an agreement to sell its Las Vegas Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, the host venue for the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournament, to “a company” controlled by a principal of Imperial Companies for $516.3m.

Expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals, the deal sees the World Series of Poker set to be held at the Rio in 2020 after which hosting rights will remain with Caesars.

Under the terms of the agreement, Caesars will continue to operate the property under a lease for a minimum of two years and pay rent of $45m per year. The buyer has the option to pay Caesars $7m to extend the lease under similar terms for a third-year.

“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. 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,” said the company’s CEO Tony Rodio.

The sale is likely the first of several such deals Caesars will announce in the coming months, ahead of the finalization of the company’s acquisition by rival Eldorado Resorts.

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