February 11, 2021
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak will soon allow Las Vegas poker rooms and other companies to significantly increase capacity by 25%. However, the seats remain well below the maximum capacity that the fire safety code allows in any company.
Sisolak, a Democratic politician, cut room capacity in restaurants, casinos, and other establishments to 25% a few months ago. This forced the card rooms to limit the number of seats, resulting in long waiting lists for cash games in certain hotels.
Speaking Thursday afternoon, the governor gave some good news to certain Nevada companies, including the Las Vegas poker rooms, 20 of which are currently open. Before the global health pandemic, there were 31 active rooms in the city. According to the governor’s new restrictions, game days can be operated at 35% of the maximum capacity from next Monday and up to 50% from March 15.
If a poker room is normally allowed to have 500 people, it can operate with 250 guests next month. While this is still well below the pre-coronavirus thresholds, twice as many people are allowed to enter a poker room as in recent months. Baby steps people.
Open Las Vegas Poker Rooms
The Las Vegas poker scene has taken a hit since last year’s global health pandemic. Almost a year since casinos closed due to COVID-19, 11 Las Vegas poker rooms have remained closed. And they could stay that way for a while.
There are currently 20 poker rooms open, most of them on the Strip. The top card rooms are all open (Aria, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Venetian, and Wynn). Then you have some other strip properties with poker games running at Bally’s, Flamingo, MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood, and Sahara. Off the Strip are the open rooms at Boulder Station, Golden Nugget, Poker Palace, Red Rock Resort, Santa Fe Station, Silver Sevens Casino, South Point, Orleans and Westgate.
Green Valley Ranch, The Mirage, and The Strat (formerly Stratosphere) are some of the Las Vegas poker rooms that are still closed.
New Las Vegas COVID-19 guidelines
Sisolak allows more than just Las Vegas poker rooms to increase capacity. Restaurants are allowed to operate at 35% capacity on Monday, up from 25% in recent months. As with casinos, this value will increase to 50% a month later. Additionally, customers are no longer required to make reservations prior to arriving at an indoor restaurant.
When traveling to Las Vegas, you should be aware that many restaurants on the Strip haven’t reopened since March. However, there are still plenty of places to indulge yourself after beating everyone at the table.
Sisolak also informed Nevada residents that starting May 1, he will let local governments make their own decisions about COVID-19 restrictions. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Officer of President Joe Biden, recently said he expected everyone in the US to have access to the COVID-19 vaccine by April.
This is good news not only for the odds of a 2021 WSOP in Las Vegas, but also for card rooms across the country as they hope to be at full capacity soon.
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years of experience on the felt and more than five years of work as a professional poker medium.
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