New Host for WSOP

Because Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. owns the World Series of Poker, the hotel and casino giant has in recent years hosted the event in Las Vegas at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino.

But with Harrah’s suffering some financial losses, there are some rumors that the company is seeking to sell Rio, which would leave the WSOP without a home or host.

According to Business Week, two companies are apparently considering bids for the Rio with those bids valuing the hotel and casino at about $500 million.

There aren’t too many other Harrah’s properties in Las Vegas they can hold an event as large as the WSOP, but experts say that the Planet Hollywood Casino, which is on the strip and closer to much of the activity there, would be an ideal location for the WSOP. The only other Harrah’s location that experts say could hold an event like the World Series of Poker is Caesar’s. Harrah’s also owns the Flamingo, the Imperial Palace, Bill’s and Paris.

Originally, the World Series of Poker was hosted by the Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas, where it stayed for 34 years. Harrah’s moved the tournament to the Rio in 2005, which was considered a smart move because it allowed the tournament to grow, accommodated more cars and people, and seemed like a better host for an event that year after year has become more and more popular.

It’s been said that Harrah’s paid nearly $900 million for the Rio but that if sold it will likely sell for somewhere in the $500 million range.