Many Las Vegas poker rooms have reopened since the start of the COVID-19 lockdowns, including all of the most popular rooms. Well, except for one. Wynn’s card room remains mysteriously closed despite being one of the most beloved places to play poker in town.
Wynn-Encore, a luxurious resort on the Las Vegas Strip, reopened June 4 along with many casinos in Sin City. The resort had been closed since mid-March due to COVID-19.
Upon the casino’s reopening, slot machines, some restaurants, table games, and bars opened for business. Many flocked to the hotel to play their favorite slots or eat at one of the fancy restaurants. But poker players were forced to play elsewhere.
Fast forward to more than three months later, and the poker room is still closed. And, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Jim Barnes who chatted with a casino spokesperson, no reopening date is in the works.
So, that means it could still be quite a while before one of Las Vegas’ most popular card rooms returns to action. Wynn’s hotel sales have been down drastically since reopening. As a result, the resort significantly dropped hotel rates in hopes of attracting more business. The casino also recently permanently closed its popular buffet, which originally was the first buffet in town to reopen post-COVID.
Citing a lack of interest in paying $38 for lunch and $65 for dinner, the casino was forced to shut it down. It appears the poker room will remain closed until overall business in the casino returns to normalcy.
Still plenty of places to play poker
Just because the Wynn’s luxurious card room remains closed doesn’t mean you can’t get action in Las Vegas. Out of the 31 poker rooms in town that were open prior to the global health pandemic, 16 have since reopened. Westgate’s reopening this week is the most recent one.
The list of current open poker rooms include some of the most famous places to play poker in the world, such as Bellagio and Aria, both MGM Resorts properties on the Las Vegas Strip.
Off the Strip, you can find some poker action at Red Rock Resort (Summerlin), The Orleans (west of the Strip), and Golden Nugget (downtown), three of the top card rooms in Las Vegas.
Although full-table play hasn’t yet been permitted in Las Vegas by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB), short-handed play was short lived following the initial reopening weekend. At many of the card rooms, eight-handed play is available. In casinos such as Bellagio and Aria, poker remains limited to a maximum of six players per table. But that’s still a significant increase compared to the initial four-handed requirements.
On a negative note for poker in Las Vegas, a few of the poker rooms have recently announced permanent closure or don’t intend to reopen for the foreseeable future. That includes Mirage, Harrah’s, and the original home of the World Series of Poker, Binion’s. Mirage and Harrah’s have since replaced the card room with a non-smoking slot machine area.
Despite the numerous card rooms that still haven’t reopened, Las Vegas still has more open poker rooms than any other city in the US.
Featured image source: Flickr