Caesars Entertainment has entered an agreement to sell the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino 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 pursuant to 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. At the end of the lease term and at the request of the buyer, Caesars may continue to manage Rio or provide transition services to Imperial Companies.

The agreement allows for co-ownership of Rio-specific guest data and places no restrictions on Caesars’ marketing activities. 

The Rio will continue to be part of the Caesars Rewards network during the lease term, with the transaction not expected to result in any changes to guest experience. 

“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,” noted Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars Entertainment

“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.”

Earlier this year US comedian Doug Stanhope took to social media to claim that, following a one-star review of Caesars‘ Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, he is now banned from every property in the firm’s portfolio.

Writing about the incident on Twitter, Stanhope stresses a belief that the certified latter came after a review left on TripAdvisor and Yelp.