MGM Grand made a tough decision to close the poker room at some of their Las Vegas Strip properties indefinitely. That bold decision includes the shuttering of the legendary poker room at the Mirage Casino, which at one time hosted the biggest cash games in the Vegas. In addition, the suits made a decision to shut down the Mandalay Bay and Excalibur, two low-level poker rooms that used to attract both tourists and locals alike.
After a lengthy shutdown, live poker returns to Planet Hollywood on the Las Vegas Strip. Meanwhile, one lucky Pai Gow poker player struck it rich with a $133,037 jackpot win at Planet Hollywood. And over at the Wynn Casino, the poker room is temporarily shuttered and relocated after the Wynn/Encore reduced hours due to a serious drop off in gamblers.
The poker room at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey will finally reopen for the first time since being shuttered in March. The Borgata will resume action with 30 of its 77 tables on Wednesday, October 21. All players will be required to wear masks. Tables have plastic partitions and will only be seven-handed. The Borgata reopened in late July of this year, but the poker room was not ready yet.
The Bicycle Casino outside of Los Angeles reopened with "outdoor gaming". The Bike originally shut down in March during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. It reopened in June for a quick minute before Governor Newsom shut down all casinos during a spike. Almost four months later, the Bike reopened with 52 total outdoor tables, including 17 outdoor poker tables.
William Hill had been running sportsbooks in Caesars Entertainment properties already, but now New Caesars acquired the British sports betting giant for the hefty sum of $3.7 million. William Hill's stock had been in play the last couple weeks on rampant speculation that they were the target of either Caesars or Apollo Management.
At first glance the numbers show overall revenue in the state of Nevada is down 22% from last summer, with Las Vegas Strip revenue down 39% in August. But considering we're still in the middle of a pandemic, the overall numbers are nothing but good news for casino operators in Nevada. With pro sports returning and the NBA playoffs in full swing, sportsbetting revenue spiked +65% in August.
The USA is drastically spiking with coronavirus cases rising in 40 out of 50 states. Governors have been scaling back reopenings. In Los Angeles, card rooms and poker rooms were shut down when Governor Gavin Newsom ordered casinos to be closed. At the start of June, several of the most popular card rooms in LA reopened such as Commerce, the Bike, and Hustler. They've all shut their doors indefinitely while the pandemic peaks in SoCal during the Fourth of July holiday.
Gambling will return to the Garden State in July. Governor Phil Murphy gave Atlantic City the go ahead to reopen as early as July 2 at 25% capacity and everyone must wear masks. The Borgata, the jewel of AC, will wait until after the Fourth of July holiday to reopen on July 6. New Jersey was one of the hardest hit states at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak in the New York City tri-state area.
After being shut down since March, poker rooms at two of the most popular card rooms in America return to action. The Bellagio poker room reopened on Thursday, while the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles opened its doors on Friday for the first time in over three months. While casinos and card rooms reopen, gamblers remain cautious with case surging and hotspots developing in SoCal, the Southwest, and Florida.
Las Vegas casinos continue to reopen, including poker rooms, after being shut down since mid-March. Gamblers, mostly locals, flocked in droves during the first week of reopening, to whichever casinos opened back up all over town. More card rooms and casinos will be reopening despite the fact that COVID-19 cases are spiking in California and all over the southwest including Arizona and Texas.
Stanley Ho, one of the wealthiest men in China, passed away at age 98 according to a statement from his daughter, Pansy. Ho had become the King of Gambling in Asia after he envisioned a gambling mecca in the Pearl River Delta to rival Las Vegas. Ho's company, SJM Holdings, owned 20 casinos in Macau and even one in North Korea. At the time of Ho's death, SJM Holdings had an estimated value at $6 billion.
Poker returns to the sunshine state this week. A trio of poker rooms in Florida are set to open this week. Derby Lane in Tampa Bay, Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, and Bestbet Jacksonville in Jacksonville will all reopen under strict post-pandemic guidelines. Last week, casinos reopened in Deadwood, South Dakota. And now more states will slowly return to action, including tribal casinos in California.
Over 20 casinos are currently open in the United States of America with a handful more expected to open this weekend and next week. Several Las Vegas casinos, such as Venetian and Palazzo, are planning on reopening in June despite the fact that the USA leads the world in COVID-19 and COVID-related deaths. Casinos in Arizona and Louisiana are set to reopen by next week, with many other casinos rushing to get ready for a June return.
Three casinos in the USA will reopen to gamblers in Deadwood, South Dakota. Meanwhile, Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, Florida decided to hold off on reopening their poker room this week. They will reopen the greyhound racetrack without any live spectators but decided against hosting poker games. Heading into the second weekend of May, all major casinos are closed in North America, especially in Las Vegas and Atlantic City and none of their casinos planning on opening before Memorial Day.
With the coronavirus pandemic shuttering casinos across the globe, some casino operators are rolling the dice and reopening amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Three casinos in the Czech Republic will reopen their doors on Monday, May 11, including the King's Resort Rozvadov, Admiral Casino Rozvadov, and the King's Casino Prague.
Carolyn Goodman, the current Mayor of Las Vegas and wife of ex-mayor Oscar Goodman, shocked the world with her preposterous assertions about opening up the Las Vegas Strip during a live interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN. Mayor Goodman insisted that Las Vegas re-open in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Mayor Goodman immediately received blowback from all sides of the political spectrum and health officials.
North America has not reached the peak of the coronavirus pandemic and as a result, Nevada will continue to close all casino properties for the month of April. In mid-March, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak closed all casinos for 30 days. At the start of April, Gov Sisolak extended closures through the end of April. He will make a decision to re-open the end of the month, but the outlook seems grim. As of March 31, there were 1,279 COVID-19 cases in Nevada with 26 fatalities.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced that all non-essential business will be shut down due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak. That decree particularly included shutting down all casinos including adjacent shops and restaurants for 30 days. Social distancing is the most effective way to slow down the spread of the virus, much to the dismay of gambling enthusiasts. At least Nevada residents have online options, but nothing in the virtual world can ever compare to the glitz and glamour of Sin City.
Coronavirus has officially shut down the Wynn and MGM properties in Las Vegas after Sin City saw their infection rate spike over the weekend. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the major casinos and card rooms closed including Commerce and the Bike. Not all casinos in America or around the world are closed, but major ones on the West Coast took drastic measures during the pandemic.
Daniel Negreanu tweeted his thoughts on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that has hit the US. He wants all poker rooms to close to help prevent the spread of the virus that the WHO upgraded to a pandemic. Meanwhile, earlier in the week PokerStars announced they were suspending tournaments in Europe through April due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.
Poker returns to the historic Sahara Casino after a nine-year hiatus. The Sahara branding returned to the property in August 2019 after five years as the SLS. Six months after the Sahara reboot, the new seven-table poker room opened with a soft launch on February 14. The swanky poker room will cater to locals with a better overall poker experience, plus free parking with less than a five-minute walk to the newest room on the Strip in almost a decade.
On February 5, announced they were shutting down all casinos for two weeks during an outbreak of coronavirus that killed at least 500 people in mainland China. Hong Kong and Macau reported their first cases of coronavirus, including a casino worked in Macau. Hong Kong also reported its first death from coronavirus. Macau's decision to shut down gambling operations for two weeks could not come at a worst time. Casinos in Macau saw a huge downturn in profits over the last year, including four consecutive months of declining revenue.
We're quickly approaching the end of 2019 and the end of the decade. So much happened in 2019, we have a special two-part series highlighting the best and most interesting stories of 2019. In the first half of 2019, some of the big stories involved Chino Rheem winning the 2019 PCA and Spain's Roman Colillas taking down the inaugural PSPC in the Bahamas for $5.1 million. Bryn Kenney shipped the largest Aussie Millions in history. Just before the WSOP, Daniel Negreanu stepped down after 12 years as a sponsored pro and ambassador for PokerStars. Gianluca 'Tankanza' Speranza won the SCOOP Main Event in back-to-back years.
Two more well-known pros are no longer sponsored players and members of Team PokerStars. Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree are no longer with PokerStars as the online poker giants shifts away from traditional sponsored pros. Meanwhile, PokerStars is also pulling the plug on Power Up Poker, one of the many new formats they introduced in the last few years that was more like a video game than old school poker.
Pennsylvania, now the fifth largest state in America after edging out Illinois with 12.8 million residents, officially has online poker again when PokerStars PA went online during a soft launch on Monday. The official launch will be Wednesday, November 6, 2019.
Ten days after the Mike Postle alleged cheating scandal hit, new evidence in coming in every day and the story has hit the mainstream media like ESPN and The Ringer. In his latest daily video, Joey Ingram shared intel from a member of the gaming community who pinpointed the date in July when Postle began manipulating his phone to gain an advantage on his opponents. Since then, Ingram estimated Postle won over $330,000 playing low-stakes poker on the stream.
Imperial Companies, a real estate company based out of New York City, purchased the Rio for $516.3 million from Caesars Entertainment. Imperial will lease back the Rio to Caesars for the next two years. Meanwhile, the Rio will continue to host the World Series of Poker through 2021.
World Series of Poker vice president of communications Seth Palansky confirmed that the 2020 WSOP is planned to take place at the Rio Casino and Convention Center in the summer of 2020 despite numerous rumors that Caesar's is selling the Rio and the WSOP would migrate to a new convention center off The Strip.