Poker rooms in Las Vegas that still haven’t reopened

Jon Sofen
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Posted on March 17, 2021 8:00 pm EDT

There are still a number of poker rooms in Las Vegas that haven’t decided to reopen since COVID-19 struck one year ago. Some may remain closed permanently, while others may choose to wait until tourism is back to normal.

Prior to the global pandemic, Las Vegas had 31 open card rooms, including some legendary poker spots such as Bellagio and Venetian. On a positive note, most of the top poker rooms in town reopened months ago. That includes Aria, Bellagio, and Venetian.

But there are still 12 poker rooms that remain closed, some of which have been replaced with slot machines or are completely empty.

Las Vegas Strip’s closed poker rooms

The Las Vegas Strip is the most popular place to play poker in the world. That still holds true even during a global health pandemic, and even given the fact that many of the area’s card rooms still remain closed one year following the temporary casino shutdown.

There are currently five poker rooms on the Strip that were open pre-coronavirus but haven’t since reopened. That includes Excalibur, Harrah’s, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, and The Strat (formerly Stratosphere).

None of those card rooms are among the most popular places to play in town, but they did have a healthy group of loyal customers. Mirage was the main place to play high stakes poker back in the 1990’s, before Bobby’s Room at Bellagio (now the Legends Room) opened earlier this century.

The poker room at Mirage and Harrah’s have since been transformed into smoke-free slot machine rooms. Excalibur replaced its poker room with a bar and slot tournament area. Mandalay’s card room is mostly just an empty eyesore these days, although during March Madness they’ll open up some excess seating for when the sportsbook gets too crowded.

Off the Strip places you still can’t play

The Strip isn’t the only place to play cards in Las Vegas. In fact, the city features some top-notch poker rooms in many other areas of town, such as The Orleans (about a mile west of the Strip), Red Rock Resort and Casino (20 minutes from the Strip in Summerlin), and downtown’s Golden Nugget.

That is still an accurate claim during COVID-19 as those poker rooms are currently in business. But there are some decent card rooms away from the Strip that still remain closed, including Green Valley Ranch (Henderson), Palace Station (west of the Strip), Sam’s Town (on Boulder Highway east of the Strip), and the Rio, which is home to the World Series of Poker.

You also still can’t play cards at Cannery or Club Fortune. And we couldn’t forget about one of the most legendary card rooms ever, Binion’s, the original home to the World Series of Poker before it moved to the Rio in 2005. Even though there are 12 poker rooms that remain closed one year later, there are still plenty of places to play poker in Las Vegas.

Featured image source: Flickr