If you're itching to return to Sin City and gamble it up with locals and tourists, then you're in for some good news. The Nevada Gaming Control Board approved of a waiver to allow all casinos in the state to increase capacity so long as there's a high number of vaccinated employees.
Last March while the coronavirus ravaged the world and parts of the USA, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak shuttered all casinos in the state including both Las Vegas and Reno for 30 days. In April, he expanded the shutdown. At the start of 2020, Nevada casinos banked over a $1 billion in revenue in January and February to get an indication of how much money their were losing during the pandemic.
In June 2020, some casinos reopened to locals, but with temperature checks at every entrance. In February 2021, Nevada allowed casinos to operate at 50% capacity. In June, it's back to 100%
How do you know that the pandemic is over? MGM Resorts said they'll start charging parking fees once again starting in June. They waived the parking fee in order to attract gamblers and tourists.
Back in 2016, MGM and Caesars drew the ire of locals when their beancounters and suits decided to charge parking at all of their casinos in another effort to monetize their properties and fleece the masses. The two gaming giants owned 17 out of the 28 properties on Las Vegas Blvd, so it was a scramble to find free parking at a non-MGM/Caesars garage otherwise pay anywhere from $15 to upwards to $30.
When casinos reopened last year in Nevada, the suits made a decision to waive parking fees in order to draw in more gamblers. Now that the pandemic is "over", it's back to nickel and diming everyone. For a while, locals and hotel guests had their parking comped, but that's expected to change because casinos took a huge hit during the pandemic when their profits fell off dramatically.
Meanwhile, if you want to play poker in Las Vegas, those safety plexiglass shields at every poker table will be taken down in accordance to a recent announcement by the CDC that said masks were no longer necessary indoors if people were vaccinated.
When casinos and poker rooms opened back up last year, many rooms reduced their table size (started at four-handed and then went to six-handed) and added plexiglass barriers as a way to reduce the spread of coronavirus and other germs. But that was then. Now, mostly every poker room will take down the plexi with a couple of exceptions. The Wynn was the first room to remove the barrier when they resumed poker action. The Bellagio, Aria, along with MGM/Caesars properties also followed suit by taking down the plexi.
The Golden Nugget, Orleans, and Venetian will continue to have plexiglass up in their poker rooms, so if you're a germ freak that needs a poker fix, then those three rooms will be a popular destination. It's no surprise that two of those three are popular among elderly locals.
You have to assume that the World Series of Poker will not have plexiglass at their tables, which saved them a pretty penny considering how many tables are in action at the WSOP every year. The 2021 WSOP returns in September and runs through November. There's an online version of the WSOP running this summer once again at GGPoker and WSOP.com.