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Las Vegas Poker Options Limited During Casino Reopening

Only Three Casinos Will Spread Poker Games While Heavy Restrictions Are In Place


Nevada casinos reopened for business Thursday morning, but finding a poker game won’t be easy in Las Vegas.

Silver State casinos were closed for more than two months after Gov. Steve Sisolak declared a state of emergency in mid-March and shut down all “nonessential business” in response to the spread of coronavirus throughout the state.

With the state in the second phase of its reopening plan, Sisolak gave the casinos approval to reopen with several restrictions in place, including a limited amount of seating available at all table games.

Poker rooms, for example, will not be allowed to spread a game with more than four players at a table until the Nevada Gaming Control Board loosens its social distancing restrictions. With these safeguards in place, many properties are opting to keep its poker rooms closed until further notice.

In mid-May, Wynn Resorts announced that it would not reopen its poker room when it opens its pair of Strip properties, Wynn and Encore. Other major operators are taking a similar approach.

Both MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment are opening three of its Strip properties in the first two days of the reopening process. Caesars will reopen Caesars Palace and Flamingo Thursday morning, and Harrah’s Friday, while MGM will reopen Bellagio, New York-New York and MGM Grand Thursday. The two gaming giants will open the rest of its Strip casinos in a gradual manner as executives measure both demand and safety.

New York-New York doesn’t have a poker room, but the other five will keep poker rooms closed.

Bellagio’s Director of Poker Mike Williams told Card Player that its poker room will reopen when regulators allow more players at the table.

“The poker room will not be opening on the fourth with the rest of the casino due to the four-handed restrictions handed down by gaming,” said Williams. “We are in contact with [Nevada Gaming Control Board] trying to get those restrictions altered to six-handed or greater. We are anxious to open but want to be sure it is safe for our guests.”

John Martin, the poker room manager at Caesars Palace, echoed Williams’ sentiment.

“The casino opens on June 4, but poker will be behind that,” said Martin. “We are waiting to open and make decisions from there.”

The Venetian will be the only place on the Strip where gamblers can find a poker game. The Las Vegas Sands-owned property announced last month that it would open its poker room on June 5, a day after the reopening of the casino.

The room will only be open from 9 a.m. until 1 a.m. and will spread four-handed cash games and winner-take-all single table tournaments on demand.

The only other Sin City poker rooms that will be in business early on are off the Strip at South Point and The Orleans.

The Orleans will open at 8 a.m. and operate in a similar fashion to The Venetian. The room will only be open from 8 a.m. to midnight but will spread cash games and winner-take-all single-table tournaments.

In all, 15 Strip properties will open on Thursday and Friday. Treasure Island, Circus Circus, The Strat, Sahara, and The Cosmopolitan will join the three Caesars properties, three MGM casinos, and pair of properties from Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands.

Throughout the entire city, there are 49 casinos reopening, with a few Downtown casinos opening at 12:01 a.m. One local reporter tweeted a video just minutes after the reopening of The D Las Vegas. Based on the turnout, it appears that the Nevada gaming market could rebound sooner than expected.



2 months ago

Thts bullshit put masks in everybody in the poker tournaments with sanitizer acces in all places
Im bored i hate online fake poker
Fucking scamers open the poker tournaments fucking state board