COVID-19 originally forced all 31 Las Vegas poker rooms to temporarily close. But many of them still remain that way 10 months later, and likely will for quite some time. Some probably won’t ever reopen.
That’s the nature of the beast with this global health pandemic. The virus has crushed the city of Las Vegas, which relies heavily on tourism and gambling.
Poker rooms aren’t nearly as profitable as slot machines and table games. So, many casinos aren’t too concerned with having to remove poker tables. At a few of the casinos in town, the poker room has been replaced with a smoke-free slot area.
Las Vegas poker rooms now open
Although poker isn’t highly profitable to the casino directly, the poker rooms do bring in additional customers who also play slots and table games. That’s the reason many of the Las Vegas casinos have reopened their poker rooms following the March 2020 COVID-19 closures.
The places you can currently play poker in Sin City: Aria, Bally’s, Bellagio, Boulder Station, Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Golden Nugget, MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood, Poker Palace, Red Rock Resort, Sahara, Santa Fe Station Casino, Silver Sevens, South Point, The Orleans, Venetian, Westgate, and Wynn.
All of the top poker rooms in town are open. That includes Aria, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Venetian, and Wynn.
What is still closed?
Although most of the card rooms have reopened, many still remain closed. The good news is the still-closed rooms aren’t considered among the best places in Las Vegas to play. But some of them are quite popular among certain niche groups of poker players, starting with the Mirage.
Mirage was once the top place to play high-stakes poker in the world, back in the 1990s. The card room faded a bit in the 2000s and became mostly a place to play low-stakes cash games and cheap daily tournaments. It’s now a smoke-free slot machine area, as the casino has completely removed every poker table.
The same can be said for Harrah’s across the street on the Las Vegas Strip. Harrah’s never hosted high-stakes games and only had a small card room. But it attracted a loyal group of low-stakes grinders, many of whom hope the poker room will one day return. They shouldn’t hold their breath, however.
Binion’s is another legendary card room that remains closed. The downtown casino was home to the World Series of Poker until 2005, when it moved over to the Rio, yet another poker room that hasn’t yet reopened. The Binion’s poker room, pre-COVID, was a shell of its old self. Only a few games ran each day before the coronavirus struck, and the room is now just an empty area behind the main casino floor.
Green Valley Ranch removed its poker tables and replaced them with comfortable chairs for sports bettors to watch ball games. The Station Casinos brand property hasn’t announced any plans to reopen the Henderson, Nevada poker room.
Other card rooms in Las Vegas that still remain closed include Cannery Casino, Palace Station, Sam’s Town, Skyline, and The Strat (formerly Stratosphere).
Featured image source: Flickr