According to a Facebook posting from one of the top billiards organizations in the U. S., the World Series of Poker will be moving in 2022. The new location, which has not been confirmed by WSOP officials at this point, will be the Bally’s and Paris properties on the Las Vegas Strip.
Rumors Abound with No Confirmation of Change
PocketFives’ Lance Bradley first reported the news, which came in a rather innocent announcement from a surprising source. The Facebook page of the Valley National 8-Ball Association posted this afternoon that their “long term contract” with Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was “suddenly canceled.” The reason for this? According to the VNEA, it is the move of the WSOP to the Bally’s property and Paris “in 2022 and beyond.”
The 2022 VNEA World Championship for the VNEA was scheduled to run from May 26 to June 4. This does coincide with the opening dates for the “normal” (AKA pre-COVID) WSOP festivities, which normally would start at the end of May, meaning that it is entirely possible that the report is true. As of yet, however, there has been no announcement of any changes from WSOP officials (who are possibly right now wishing there were no Facebook) or from Bally’s and Paris. Poker News Daily has attempted to contact Ty Stewart, the Executive Director of the WSOP, and has not received a reply.
For those that are interested, the VNEA World Championship will be contested in the future at the Westgate Las Vegas, with the organization’s Facebook post speaking quite fondly of the new venue while dismissing the Bally’s property.
A Change for the WSOP…Again
The World Series of Poker has had the good fortune to be rather steady in its host casino. The very first “Gaming Fraternity Convention” was held in 1969 in Reno, NV, and was a moderate success. Instead of continuing to operate the convention, however, Holiday Casino owner Tom Moore (who did not see the potential in continuing the yearly festivities) allowed Benny Binion to take over the hosting of the function.
In 1970, Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas played host to the very first World Series of Poker and, for the next 34 years, the tournament only grew in numbers and prestige. In 2004, unfortunately, Binion’s Horseshoe was facing issues with the IRS for nonpayment of taxes and the family sold the operation to Harrah’s Entertainment for $1.45 billion. While the old Binion’s Horseshoe was sold off by Harrah’s, they retained the rights to the WSOP and the Horseshoe name (hence why it is just “Binion’s” today).
In 2005, the WSOP moved into new digs at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino off the beaten path of the Las Vegas Strip. The new surroundings allowed for an explosive growth to the tournament schedule – the old Horseshoe would not have been able to handle thousands of players descending on its floors. The Rio was just part of the “perfect storm” that the Aughts were for the “golden age” of poker, along with the explosion of online poker, the international influx into the game and the WSOP’s own growth.
There has been a tremendous amount of discussion regarding the hosting of the WSOP over the past few years. As rumors ran rampant regarding the sale of the Rio, WSOP officials were quick to indicate that the WSOP would remain at the Rio. The sale of the Rio in 2019 to a New York real estate group escalated the discussions, but the continued management of the Rio by Caesars Entertainment (the former Harrah’s Entertainment) until 2021 meant that the WSOP would be in the Rio “for the foreseeable future.”
That future appears to have changed now. Poker News Daily will continue to monitor the story and update as appropriate.