Las Vegas Casinos Ready to Reopen

Its been an interesting week in the poker industry. The Worldwide COVID-19 lockdown has decimated the live poker world but it looks like there may be some hope on the horizon.

Las Vegas in particular is getting ready for some action.

By: Mark Patrickson

First though, is a story that reminds us of the frustration poker players have been feeling. An illegal game has been busted in Tokyo, Japan, that has been running since September.

The manager and 13 staff of a multi-tenant building were arrested for running the game which is said to have made almost half a million dollars since starting up.

This is the second illegal poker game bust in Tokyo this year after a similar setup was uncovered with 5 staff and 16 customers arrested.

Las Vegas Ready For Action

The big news is that the iconic Las Vegas Strip is getting ready to open in June. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has signed off on agreements to begin his multi-stage reopening plan one week before originally intended.

The Venetian and Palazzo, both Las Vegas Sands properties owned by Sheldon Adelson, posted in the Las Vegas Journal that they are ready to go in phase one of the reopening. However, at this stage there is still no formal word on when actual gaming and poker will be back up and running.

Caesars and MGM were a little bit more circumspect with their plans. Caesars CEO Tony Rodio said:

“We are implementing new protocols focused on the well-being of our team members, guests and communities to create environments with high standards of sanitization and physical distancing practices. We are working closely with public health authorities, gaming regulators and infectious disease specialists to design our plan.”

MGM gave some details on how they plan to proceed.

A seven point plan included screening of everyone entering the property with compulsory masks provided free of charge to guests and employees. A six foot(approx.2m) social distancing policy will also be required.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if poker will be available at the MGM for some time.

The guidelines given out by the Nevada Gaming Control Board stipulate a maximum of four players per table for poker and roulette. So it’s either the casinos get generous with rake or there will only be the odd mid to high stakes cash game going on.

Las Vegas Sands Give Up on Japan

The Las Vegas Sands corporation has pulled the plug on its plan to build a casino in Japan.

Sheldon Adelson had been prepared to spend as much as $10 billion on building a new property but eventually he got frustrated with the number of legal obstacles put in his way and he has now given up.

Adelson said:

“We are grateful for all of the friendships we have formed and the strong relationships we have in Japan, but it is time for our company to focus our energy on other opportunities:”

Las Vegas Hard Rock Brand

The Seminole Tribe has bought the right to the Las Vegas Hard Rock brand. This makes it almost certain that  we will see a brand new Hard Rock resort being built in Las Vegas in the near future.

The Seminole Tribe built their name with the largest gambling operation in the state of Florida before taking over Hard Rock International all the way back in 2007. Now they will be taking on the real behemoths of the gambling world in gambling Mecca of Nevada.

Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen said in a statement:

“This agreement marks an exciting chapter for Hard Rock International in Las Vegas and beyond. We look forward to the opportunity of enhancing our presence in Las Vegas, which will always be one of the most iconic entertainment markets in the world.”

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