Friday February 19, 2021 at 12:19 am

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.

Vegascovidcasino2
Pic by AP

Sin City is slowly returning to business as usual. It took over a year after the pandemic crushed global commerce and the tourism industry, but casinos in the state of Nevada are crawling back to its old self with full capacity and the high-swinging, bacchanalian lifestyle. Nevada just got a much-needed capacity boost that will be on the road back to 100% capacity after they shut its doors in March when the coronavirus pandemic ravished on US soil.

Casinos in Nevada were operating at 25% capacity and under heavy health restrictions and safety protocols in the wake of the pandemic. Governor Steve Sisolak announced that casinos in the state could increase that number by 10% capacity right away, so there's a bump to 35%. That includes places of worship, gaming floors, gyms, yoga studios, martial arts gyms, arcades, racetracks, bowling alleys, and pool halls.

"As we ease restrictions, we must follow the science and studies, which states clearly and repeatedly that closures to certain settings are more impactful in reducing disease transmission," said Gov. Sisolak. "While we are hopeful that trends will continue to decrease if all mitigation measures are followed, we must remain flexible – as we have done all along."

Despite the increase many properties on the Strip had reduced their services and some hotels operated on the weekends only.

Nevada officials will bump to 50% capacity by March 1. The full rollout to 100% is expected by May 1. At that point, nightclubs and dayclubs can open at full capacity.

Reports suggested that gaming revenue fell off by 45% in 2020 during the pandemic, but hit 50% in December. The crazy part is that despite the pandemic, they still got 55% revenue. Degens are gonna degen, eh?

"March may hopefully begin to feel like October if we're lucky," said MGM head honcho Bill Hornbuckle. "Hoping by the end of spring, as we go into June, we'll see yet another significant rollback as we get ready for events."

No word yet on the World Series of Poker, but they're expected to return this summer. Last year, the WSOP migrated online with events split on GGPoker and WSOP.com.

And no word if the Mirage will re-open the poker room, which the MGM suits closed along with poker rooms at the Excalibur and Mandalay Bay.

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Nevada relaxes casino capacity restrictions and 50% by March
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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.

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