Las Vegas Poker Rooms Remove All Restrictions, Action Heating Up Already

June 2nd, 2021 | by Greg Shaun

Normality returned to the poker rooms of Las Vegas on June 1, nearly 15 months after the strip closed down for the first time since John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

The Bellagio

Las Vegas poker rooms officially removed all COVID-19 restrictions, including plexiglass dividers, on June 1. (Image: Mike Williams/Twitter)

Although most poker rooms in Nevada have been open since the latter half of 2020, it wasn’t business as usual.

Plexiglass screens, facemasks, and social distancing were just three safety measures in place due to COVID-19. However, with infection rates falling and vaccinations surging, Sin City has removed all restrictions.

Restrictions Removed as COVID Threat Falls

The Wynn was the first Las Vegas casino to remove plexiglass screens back in May. That move triggered a gradual easing of restrictions across the city.

The band aid was officially removed on June 1. In practice, this meant state laws made it possible for all venues to return to 100% capacity.

Also, as per the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people that have been fully vaccinated no longer have to wear facemasks or social distance.

Naturally, policing this is virtually impossible. As such, all casinos are using an honor code system.

In other words, it’s up to the individual to tell the truth. Anyone not wearing a facemask will be confirming, by their own admission, that they’ve been vaccinated.

The return to normality can’t come soon enough for Las Vegas. Revenue plummeted last year when the strip closed down.

A summer of capacity limits and restrictions meant that all of the major casinos were losing stacks of cash. Indeed, even though things picked up in late 2020, gaming revenue for the fiscal year was down 25.2% to $18.3 billion.

Brighter Days Ahead for Las Vegas

Things will be different this summer, barring any unexpected uptick in COVID-19 cases. Poker rooms in Las Vegas were buzzing on the first day of action, as were casino gaming floors in general.

In fact, such was the glut of action that one player hit a royal flush on one of Harrah’s three-card poker tables. The mystery man declined to be named but we know he picked up $1.3 million for scooping the progressive jackpot.

Further down the strip, the Venetian is currently celebrating the return of its popular tournament series.

The Deepstack Championship Poker Series started on May 1 with plexiglass dividers and facemasks. But, as of yesterday, the barriers were removed. It’s the same over at the Wynn and the Wynn Classic.

These events, combined with cash games and daily tournaments, are a clear sign that poker is well and truly back in Las Vegas.

Moreover, the removal of restrictions means we should see the WSOP return in full force later this year as planned.


    Comments are closed.

    More On This Subject