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Caesars Entertainment expected to name Anthony Rodio new CEO

Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corp. is expected to name a new chief executive, several financial publications reported late Sunday.

Anthony Rodio, 60, top executive of privately held Affinity Gaming since October, is expected to be announced as the successor to Caesars CEO Mark Frissora on Monday, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and StreetInsider.

A spokesman for the company had no comment on the reports Sunday.

Rodio has long been speculated as one of the possible candidates for the job through his association with billionaire investor Carl Icahn.

Affinity, controlled by Illinois-based Z Capital Partners, has five Nevada casinos, including the three Primm resorts some 40 miles south of Las Vegas at the California state line, and the Silver Sevens, just east of the Strip at Flamingo and Paradise roads. The company also operates casinos in Colorado, Missouri and Iowa.

Rodio worked with Icahn at Tropicana Entertainment before it was sold to Eldorado Resorts in October for $1.85 billion.

Rodio has more than three decades of gaming industry experience in regional markets. He was based in Atlantic City, New Jersey, serving as president and CEO of Tropicana Entertainment – and a member of the company’s board – since 2011, moving to Affinity in Las Vegas after the Eldorado deal closed.

Icahn said that when he acquired an interest in Tropicana in 2008, it was bankrupt yet undervalued.

“By hiring a great CEO in Tony Rodio and a great management team, and by reinvesting every single penny of profits back into the company, we turned Tropicana into a great casino company,” Icahn said at the time.

Frissora, formerly the chairman and CEO of rental car giant Hertz, became CEO of Caesars in July 2015, succeeding Gary Loveman.

In November, he announced that he would leave Caesars in February, but later said he would stay on until a new CEO was found.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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