For a ninth-straight month starting in March 2021, Nevada casinos banked at least one billion in winnings including $1.32 billion in the month of November, which just missed breaking a record of $1.35 billion from July 2021. Nevada casinos are on pace to set a new record for total revenue as it closes in on $13 billion for 2021. Nevada sportsbooks also banked a record-setting $72 million off sportsbettors in November with the NFL and college football in full swing.
Harry Reid was one of the most powerful politicians in America, but he was a rags to riches story as the son of a poor gold miner from southern Nevada who went on to become the state's youngest Lieutenant Governor, then went toe-to-toe with the mafia as the head of the Nevada Gaming Commission in the late 1970s and early 1980s, before he came a congressman and eventually a Senator. Reid served as the Senate Majority Leader in the President Obama administration until he retired from politics in 2017.
MGM surprised the gaming world and even Wall Street when they sold the Mirage two weeks ago to Hard Rock International for $1.1 billion in cash. The MGM consolidated all their casino properties to south end of Las Vegas Blvd, but rumors coming out of Sin City suggest that the suits at MGM are considering constructing a new Mirage somewhere south of Mandalay Bay.
The 2021 World Series of Poker begins in one week, but Caesars Entertainment announced that poker rooms at two of their Las Vegas Strip properties will be dark during the WSOP to assist with staffing shortages at the Rio. Bally's and the Flamingo will not spread live poker between September 26 and November 26. Both rooms expect to re-open at the end of November, but in the era of COVID and consolidation, you never know.
After getting hit hard during the pandemic, Las Vegas is quickly returning to its old Sin City ways. All of Caesars Entertainment casinos in Las Vegas will operate at 100% capacity in June and joining MGM Resorts International properties after a waiver by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Most businesses in Nevada are operating at 80% capacity, but casinos will finally operate at full capacity.
Casinos and legal card rooms in the state of Colorado no longer have to cap cash games with the $100 max bet law. Voters in Colorado passed Amendment 77 which removed the $100 cap on all table games including poker. That means the poker action at casinos in Blackhawk, Central City, and Colorado Springs will pop off in the next few months after casinos re-opened with six-handed tables.
It's been a long time coming, but the Rio Casino and Resort in Las Vegas will return to full operations. The Rio, also the home for the iconic World Series of Poker, re-opened in December but the hotel and resort was only open to the public on the weekends. The Rio resumes 24/7 operations including the return of bars and restaurants and weekday reservations. The 2021 WSOP will take place this fall at the Rio's convention center.
Las Vegas casinos hope to operate at 50% capacity by March after Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak rolled back restrictions. Casinos in Nevada can now operate at 35% capacity but will bump up at the start of March. The timing comes just before the March Madness college basketball tournament. Nevada expects to return to full 100% capacity by May.