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Las Vegas Casinos Prepare For June 4 Reopenings

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After what seems like months of quarantining, states across the country have started allowing businesses to reopen. Closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, casinos have begun resuming operations.

Normalization is well underway. But that does not mean we can stop being safe and smart. If anything, we need to emphasize it more.

On to the Rewind:

Las Vegas casinos ready to reopen

After weeks of closure, casinos in Nevada have received the go-ahead to begin reopening.

Gov. Steve Sisolak announced last week that brick-and-mortars in the Silver State can resume operations starting June 4 as part of his “Roadmap to Recovery” plan.

As a result, a number of properties appear ready to take advantage of that authorization.

Many aim to open immediately, including:

  • Caesars Entertainment: Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah’s
  • MGM Resorts: Bellagio, New York-New York, MGM Grand
  • Station Casinos: Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, Santa Fe Station, Boulder Station, Sunset Station
  • Boyd Gaming: The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Aliante, Cannery, Sam’s Town, Fremont, California, Jokers Wild

Many casino ownership groups have spent that past month piecing together new health and safety plans, ones that meet requirements set forth by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

These guidelines include limiting business to 50% capacity and enforcing social distancing on casino floors.

California sports betting bill emerges

Among states where it seems unlikely legalized sports betting will lay roots, California is high on the list. While that might remain the case, the Golden State has pushed forth a bill that provides a compromise for retail and online sports betting.

Six months after Sen. Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray introduced constitutional amendment bills, lawmakers last week completed the legislation with additional details.

Included is the authorization for legalized wagering at tribal casinos and racetracks. And while cardrooms were omitted, those establishments would be allowed to offer designated player games that have generated contention from tribes.

This move comes as lawmakers seek additional revenue during a financially difficult time created by the coronavirus pandemic and as they attempt to limit $14 billion in proposed cuts from the governor.

The sports betting bill would result in a 10% tax on gross revenue for retail betting and a 15% tax on mobile betting while also requiring a $5 million initial licensing fee and $1 million annual fee for online sportsbooks.

California faces a budget deadline of June 15, though this bill has until June 25 to receive approval and land on the November ballot. Dodd told Legal Sports Report that he expects the Senate Governmental Organization Committee to vote on the bill June 2.

That said, lawmakers face a challenge from tribes, who might not be as accepting of this bill, specifically as they relate to cardrooms. The proposed legislation would effectively legalize designated-player games after tribes have long attacked what are now illegal operations.

As one spokesman told LSR: “The notion of authorizing cardrooms to conduct Nevada-style games is an absolute non-starter that repeals tribal gaming rights.”

DC sports betting launches without apps

Legalized sports betting soft-launched in the nation’s capital. Yet even as it gets off the ground two months after it initially intended, wagering in Washington DC faces quite the uphill battle.

The Gambet DC product starts with a web browser-based product only, as its iOS and Android apps are not expected to go live until early June.

Sure, with limited sports on which to wager, a slow rollout of such platforms is not incredibly terrible. The odds, though? That’s another story.

Out in Big Sky Country, Intralot powers Sports Bet Montana, which debuted earlier this year with miserable odds. Apparently, the group did not learn much, as it did the same in DC.

For example, many of the opening week point spreads for NFL games feature -118 lines on both sides. Even UFC Fight Night odds via Intralot cannot even compare with more favorable lines at other legal US sportsbooks.

Sports betting in Washington could expand soon. Along with this official lottery platform, stadiums, arenas and sports bars are qualified to offer legalized wagering. (William Hill, for example, will power the retail sportsbook at Capital One Arena.)

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Casinos Beginning To Reopen Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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It appears the light at the end of the tunnel is nearing.

Following weeks of social isolation and distancing, closed businesses and schools, shuttered casinos and sportsbooks, normalization has begun.

A number of states across the country have authorized select businesses to resume operations. For some, that includes the reopening of brick-and-mortar casinos, which, for the most part, have had their doors closed since March.

In addition, sports leagues and associations have started or developed plans to resume action, thus allowing legal sports betting to kick back into gear.

On to the Rewind:

US casinos are reopening

What a time spring is supposed to be for casinos across the country, what with weekend getaways, spring break, warm weather.

Alas, it did not happen in 2020. Rather, the coronavirus pandemic resulted in properties closing their doors to prevent the spread.

Now, casinos are ready to get back in the game.

Of note, Arizona casinos seemed to break the mold, as five brick-and-mortars welcomed guests May 15, albeit with “partial” reopenings.

Nonetheless, the dominoes began to fall. Louisiana became the first major gambling market to announce reintegration plans, allowing its casinos to resume operations May 18, pending approval from state police of the properties’ social distancing and health policies.

Not to be outdone, California got in on the action, as Viejas Casino & Resort went back online the same day. This week, two more casinos — Sycuan Casino Resort and Valley View Casino & Hotel — intend to enter the fold. By May 27Soboba Casino Resort expects to join the mix.

Arkansas casinos also received authorization to reopen May 18, potentially followed three days later by properties in nearby Mississippi. Come early June, another group of states could return to operations, highlighted by Florida, where six Hard Rock Seminole casinos could reopen.

Indeed, it appears as if the industry is ready to bounce back.

Michigan online gambling by Thanksgiving?

If you live in Michigan or are planning to visit over Thanksgiving, picture this: You sit down to a hearty meal of turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing — the works. You complete your traditional over-indulgence of carbs and wine. You walk to your favorite spot on the couch and take out your phone to take part in the newest addition to Michigan gambling: legal, active online casinos and sports betting.

According to one state regulator, that could become reality.

Despite lacking emergency rules, Richard Kalm, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, told PlayMichigan that the state could launch iGaming earlier than its original 2021 projection.

“We’re trying to start the licensing process a little bit ahead of the rules,” Kalm said. “We’ve been doing this a long time, we know some of the things we’re going to need.”

While Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has not signed off on emergency rules to expedite the introduction of online gambling, stakeholders have long held discussions regarding the aforementioned rules. The MGCB sent a draft to operators in April, regulations that share traits with those in Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

This has allowed regulators and stakeholders to work toward the launch of iGaming and potentially speed up the industry’s introduction.

With its 26 casinos still closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, thus preventing retail sportsbooks from accepting any wagers, Michigan could certainly use some good news about the future of the state’s gambling industry.

Sports betting gets big boost with events returning

Sports. Are. Back.

And it is the “other” category that is doing the heavy lifting for legal sports betting operators.

It began with UFC 249, an event that was relocated three times but ultimately went off seemingly without a hitch on May 9 in front of an empty VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in JacksonvilleFlorida.

Since then, NASCAR returned to the racetrack, Korean baseball has picked up steam, golf was back on the links, and Bundesliga soccer hit the pitch once again. These were among the sports you can still bet on.

All told, this past weekend was easily the busiest and most promising for bookmakers across the nation since the coronavirus pandemic brought the sports world to a grinding halt in mid-March.

Notably, the Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina (run in front of zero fans) attracted betting interest akin to the Daytona 500 at some books.

Not to be overlooked, the TaylorMade Driving Relief Match, a for-charity golf event pitting Rory McIlory and Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff, resulted in double the wagers of a typical PGA Tour event at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Similar spiked interest was enjoyed by most of the heavy-hitters in the legal sports betting landscape.

At BetRivers, for example, UFC 249 — the landmark event — was especially notable.

“We received more betting action on UFC 249 than we have for any regular season NFL game,” said Mattias Stetz, COO of Rush Street Interactive, which operates BetRivers. “It was even 33% more popular than Conor McGregor’s return to UFC this past January. The bettors are delighted to see the UFC again.”

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Las Vegas Casinos Detail Reopening Dates And Safety Plans

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Las Vegas casinos and non-essential businesses were ordered to close in March to help slow the spread of coronavirus. We can’t say with 100% certainty when Las Vegas casinos will reopen but we have an idea of dates and how they’ll approach opening for guests once again.

The largest casino operators in Las Vegas recently shared plans on how the properties will reopen. Many of these casino operators have also released health and safety plans to provide specific details on how the companies plan to protect guests.

Las Vegas casino openings

Las Vegas casinos were ordered closed in the middle of March by Gov. Steve Sisolak to help slow the spread of coronavirus. The entire state is slowly allowing businesses to reopen. Phase 1 of the “Roadmap to Recovery For Nevada” is currently underway.

Reopening casinos is not part of the first phase of the reopening of Nevada. In fact, the Governor won’t give details on when casinos will reopen. The Nevada Gaming Control Board will announce the dates Las Vegas casinos can reopen. Once a date is announced it will be up to the casino operator to reopen.

Las Vegas casinos keep moving the goal post to take reservations again based on dates they’ve been told already. The casinos with open reservations are just trying to prepare for reopening. There’s nothing set in stone just yet. Every casino operator is taking a different approach to opening.

Here are the current estimated opening dates for some Las Vegas casinos:

  • Caesars Entertainment – May 22
  • Cosmopolitan – June 4
  • MGM Resorts – June 1
  • The Orleans (select Boyd Gaming properties) – June 1
  • Station Casinos – June 1
  • Treasure Island – May 22
  • The Venetian – June 1
  • Wynn Las Vegas – May 26

Remember, these dates are all subject to change.

Slowly reopening Las Vegas casinos

Las Vegas casinos won’t look the same when they reopen. Everything at the casinos — including the properties themselves — will open in phases. The Nevada Gaming Control Board approved that measure last week along with a slew of health and safety requirements for reopening casinos.

The gaming floor will only allow for up to 50% occupancy when casinos reopen. There will be fewer guests allowed in the most popular casinos than usual. This is just a maximum occupancy requirement. A casino can choose to allow fewer guests if they wish.

The NGCB recommends casinos either turn off or remove chairs from every other video poker and slot machine. Table games will also have a limited number of seats available for players.

  • Blackjack: Three (3) players per table
  • Craps: Six (6) players per table
  • Roulette: Four (4) players per table

All games played on a blackjack-sized table like 3 card poker should have the same number of seats available. Poker tables will only be allowed to have four players per table. It’s unclear which poker rooms will reopen alongside the rest of the casinos.

Las Vegas casinos will reopen a limited number of restaurants and bars at first and add more as demand warrants. Entertainment will also be slow to return to Las Vegas casinos. During MGM Resorts’ recent earnings call, the acting CEO Bill Hornbuckle mentioned that he can see smaller shows like Carrot Top returning before large events at T-Mobile Arena.

The gaming control board is also dictating a couple of popular amenities won’t return to Las Vegas casinos reopen. Dayclubs (and pool parties) along with nightclubs will remain closed as casinos open for business.

Phased property openings for Las Vegas casino companies

Just about every Las Vegas casino will reopen in phases. Larger companies will reopen with just a few properties. Each property will offer different amenities and services depending on demand.

The two big operators on the Vegas Strip will approach reopening similarly. Both MGM Resorts and Caesars will only open two casinos to start. Coincidentally or not, each company will open its most iconic property along with a less expensive property. Representatives for both companies also say they can open up to four properties quickly if there’s enough demand.

MGM Resorts will open Bellagio to compete with other luxury properties like Wynn and The Venetian. The company will also open New York-New York to more budget-conscious travelers.

Caesars will open Caesars Palace and a “value property” on the east side of the Vegas Strip. There are rumors that the “value property” will be Flamingo but that hasn’t been confirmed by Caesars Entertainment yet.

The Venetian, Wynn Las Vegas, and other individually operated casinos will reopen with limited hotel room capacity.

Phased reopening for off-Strip properties

The large casino corporations off the Vegas Strip are also taking a phased opening approach for their properties.

Boyd Gaming representatives say the company will only open it’s Las Vegas locals casinos as soon as they’re allowed:

  • Aliante
  • Cannery
  • Eastside Cannery
  • Gold Coast
  • The Orleans
  • Sam’s Town
  • Suncoast

Boyd Gaming representatives said it will open each property with limited restaurants and bars. The company hasn’t released details on specific venue openings for each property but it’s possible that some casinos could open without hotels at first.

Boyd is not expected to open its downtown Las Vegas properties right away. The company will take a wait and see approach for opening The California, Main Street Station, and Fremont Hotel and Casino. These three casinos depend more on tourists traveling to Las Vegas than locals who just want to visit the closest casino.

Station Casinos is also taking a phased opening approach. While most of the company’s high-end properties will reopen right away, Palms will remain closed. Station Casinos will re-open only the following properties in its first phase of reopening.

  • Boulder Station
  • Green Valley Ranch
  • Palace Station
  • Red Rock Casino
  • Santa Fe Station
  • Sunset Station

Smaller casino operators off the Vegas Strip are waiting on the go-ahead to reopen before revealing any specifics. For example, the future of Rampart Casino in Summerlin is in doubt as the property recently laid off most of its employees. However, the company hasn’t said if they will or won’t reopen.

Las Vegas casino health and safety plans

The Nevada Gaming Control Board approved minimum requirements for casinos reopening. Many of the individual plans from casino operators are similar and adhere to the recommendations made by the board.

All casinos will increase how often they clean gaming machines and table game areas. In addition to limiting the number of people in each part of the gaming floor casinos will have hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes for guests to use.

Every part of the table games will be cleaned regularly including tables, chairs, rails, chips, cards, dice, and tiles for Pai Gow. The pits themselves will also be cleaned more often. Casino employees will all be taught best practices in social distancing and cleaning. All casino staff will wear masks. Most casinos will recommend that guests also wear masks.

Here are specific health and safety plans to peruse before visiting your favorite Las Vegas casino:

When casinos reopen they should be cleaner and more streamlined than ever before. MGM Resorts, for example, is offering touchless check-in for its hotels. Guests can check into their rooms via a mobile device. The same device can be used as a key. This has been available for a while but will be promoted more as social distancing and touching fewer objects is more important than ever for many customers.



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When Gambling Hot Spots Reopen Casinos, How Will Things Look Different?

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It’s been a hellish two months for the land-based gaming industry following wide-spread casino closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Though online casinos seem to be picking up some of the slack, people are out of work, state and local economies are holding on by their fingertips, and people are left wondering when and if things will ever return to normal.

In states like Nevada, where the gambling and entertainment industry are pillars of economic security and held together by travel, the situation is a bit more complex. The numbers speak for themselves: 219 casinos closed and over 206,000 gaming workers jobless.

Other areas of the US, where the gambling industry also provides necessary capital needed to fund state budgets, are also searching for answers. Lawmakers, health officials, and gaming executives are scrambling to figure out how and when doors can reopen safely.

As consumers of entertainment, and those employed by it, we must trust that our questions will be answered. When will Vegas casino doors open? Will all casinos around the country have similar guidelines? These types of specifics are still being sorted out across the US but a picture is beginning to take shape as to when and how things might look.

When will Las Vegas casinos reopen?

Many properties including some on the Las Vegas strip are considering Memorial Day as a (very) tentative reopening date. MGM Resorts International said it plans to reopen in early June. However, nothing is set in stone, given the approval process.

First, each property must create a plan to ensure safety for customers and employees. Casinos must implement new guidelines adopted by the Nevada Gaming Commission into their plans, which among them include half the occupancy and frequent cleaning of surfaces and gaming devices.

Joe Bertolone, executive director of the UNLV International Center for Gaming Regulation, expect Las Vegas to open at a slower pace than other gaming markets.

“Clearly, the association with air travel in Las Vegas and other integrated resort markets like Singapore and Macau that have transportation as a key component to their gaming offerings, they are just going to open more slowly than other markets,” Bertolone said in an interview.

Caesars Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Tony Rodio echoed this statement during the companies quarterly earnings call.

“I think we’re all in agreement that we think regional markets are going to bounce back quicker because of the lack of needing to fly,” Rodio said. “When the governor in Las Vegas announced the move toward Phase 1 and the Raiders schedule came out, we actually had a pretty significant bump in reservations booked for the fourth quarter of this year.”

Right now there is no exact date or time when Las Vegas casinos will reopen.

Nevada operating and safety protocols

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) released both operating guidelines and health and safety policies that casino properties must follow prior to reopening. The policy memorandum specifically states a “plan must be submitted at least seven days before reopening occurs or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter.”

A few of the operational policies include:

  • A schedule for the replenishment of funds, including cash, chips, and tokens in all areas of casino accountability.
  • Licensees must take measures to pay receipts and wagers that may have expired during temporary closures.
  • Club venues will be allowed to reopen in compliance with any directive issued by the Governor’s office.
  • Licensees must comply with all prescribed local, state, and federal COVID-19 health requirements.

A complete list of all operating guidelines can be viewed here.

NV Governor Steve Sisolak issued policies and procedures to notify gaming operators of new operational requirements to “mitigate and reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19 for all employees, patrons, and other guests.” According to the release, these constitute the “minimum” requirements that should be followed and does not stop operators from implementing their own additional requirements.

Here are a few, but not all, of the new safety and health policies:

  • Occupancy will be limited to no more than 50% in each gaming area.
  • All reopening plans must include how disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer will be available to everyone.
  • Floor plans for slot machines must meet social distancing requirements.
  • Table games maximums: only three players per blackjack table, six players per craps table, four players per roulette table, and four players per poker table.
  • Extensive cleaning of all items including, dice, chairs, chips, and numerous other items when a new player or employee comes in contact with any item.

A complete list of all health and safety guidelines can be viewed here.

Bertolone said one of the important takeaways from the new guidelines is their ability to change.

“The thing that stands out the most is the recognition by regulators that this is a dynamic and fluid situation. While today there might be these standards, tomorrow they may change. Regulators are putting plans in place that allow for change,” he said.

Health and safety protocols are determined by local and state health officials, not the gaming board.

A new look at the casino experience

All of these new rules — which will likely become universal, give or take — bring us to how the whole casino experience will initially change for gamblers. At least, in the beginning, gone will be the dozen people hovering around a craps table rooting for someone on a hot streak. No longer will there be 10-12 high rollers sitting at a poker table stacking chips to look like city skylines. There won’t be groups of friends playing slot machines side by side or lines forming to enter new night clubs and eateries.

Based on the guidelines released by the NGCB, noise levels will be reduced by the lack of customers, spacing will be mandatory, and sanitation best practices will be heavily enforced.

George Rover, managing partner at Princeton Global Strategies and former deputy director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, anticipates similar policies around the US.

“All properties must comply with whatever executive order is handed down by their governor,” Rover said in an interview. “I can see maybe two out of every three slot machines closed or only three people at a blackjack table.”

Many of the policies in states like Nevada and Louisiana have mirrored Rover’s assessment. Expanding upon his comments, Rover said one thing that may cause a hold up in properties reopening is physical space.

“Some will be limited by their physical architecture,” he said. “They are all on equal footing but depending on their layout, some may be on better positioned when it comes to adopting what the executive order requires.”

Regional regulators weigh in

Experts may be focused on Las Vegas, but when reopening casinos begins, it will begin in the South. As first reported by Bloomberg, Louisiana casinos are set to begin reopening May 18, subject to approval by state-police.

“It will be a slow start and a conservative approach,” said Ronnie Jones, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB). “I think what will be proposed here will mirror Nevada and is pretty much what was proposed in Mississippi.”

According to plans released by LA Gov. John Bel Edwards, which can be viewed here, guidelines in Louisiana do in fact mirror some of the policies implemented in Nevada with a few exceptions.

Some but not all of the LA guidelines include:

  • Gaming positions will be reduced to 25%
  • Casino capacity will be reduced to 25%
  • Customers will be offered masks and be encouraged to wear them on the gaming floor
  • Temperatures will be taken by gaming employees

Fielding a workforce

Another potential issue is rallying employees to come back to work. According to a first-hand account written by Jones in Fantini’s Public Policy Review, he notes how severe Louisiana was hit by the pandemic.

“On a per capita population basis, Louisiana ranks 3rd behind New York and New Jersey in the number of infections and the number of deaths. In fact, one parish actually has the highest per capita death rate in the country, even higher than New York. Of the 25 counties throughout the country with the highest per capita death rate, ten are Louisiana parishes.”

In an interview, Jones said he continues to speak with general managers throughout the crisis and some a fearful even if they wanted to get to 100 percent, they don’t think they could.

“I’ve been speaking with general managers and a few are nervous their employees won’t be coming back to work,” he said. “They are either concerned for their own health or they are getting more from unemployment.”

Expected outlook on the casino industry

As with the reopening of any industry, policies and procedures will change. But according to Bertolone, “it’s too early to tell what will be the new norm.”

“Consumers are smart. Gambling is a very practical industry and without safety, the industry won’t recover,” he said. “The basic feelings of safety and cleanliness will be revisited whether you own a casino or a restaurant.”

Rodio said the company continues to work closely with regulators, and government and tribal officials to ensure operations upon reopening follow their directives.

“We will ensure that our operations are in compliance with applicable government directives and tribal mandates,” Rodio said. “While we don’t know the duration or the severity of the economic downturn — we recognize that recovery will take time.”

For now, the best the gambling industry or any industry affected by the pandemic can do is wait. In the grand scheme of things, two months is better than two years.

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With Closed Casinos, Nevada’s March Gaming Revenue Suffered Major Drop

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Last week the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported that the amount of money won by Nevada casinos in March fell by almost 40% compared to the same period last year. Gaming revenue for the state was $618 million in March. That’s a decrease of 39.57% from March of 2019 when casinos won $1.022 billion.

The reason for the huge decrease in gaming revenue for Nevada is the closure of all casinos in the state on March 17 to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Different drops for different regions

Nevada casinos in different parts of the state have different customers. In fact, even casinos in the Las Vegas area have different gambling guests. The Vegas Strip is dominated by high rollers and large casino corporations. Downtown Las Vegas and the suburban casinos cater to different tourists and local residents.

Not only are there different casino operators but the guests play varying games and have varying budgets. Casinos on the Vegas Strip won $299.9 million from gaming customers in March. That’s a decrease of 45.67% from last year.

Meanwhile, casinos in downtown Las Vegas weren’t hit as hard on a percentage basis. These casinos won $43 million. That’s only a decrease of 25.92% from the previous year.

Nevada sports betting demolished

The amount of money won by Nevada sportsbooks was crushed before casinos were even closed. The NBA suspended its season five days before casinos were told to close their doors. Other major sports, including the NCAA basketball tournament (AKA March Madness), followed the NBA’s lead.

March is chock full of college basketball games for bettors. Between the large volume of college basketball conference tournament games and the 63 games (plus play-in games) during March Madness, Nevada sportsbooks lost one of the largest cash generators of the year. For comparison, the entire NCAA basketball tournament typically sees as much money wagered as the Super Bowl.

Nevada sportsbooks saw a massive 76.3% decrease in its sports betting handle compared to last March. This was the lowest monthly handle for Nevada since 1993. March Madness typically draws less experienced sports bettors which means that sportsbooks typically win more of the wagers placed.

Without March Madness, Nevada sportsbooks only won $1.5 million from $141 million wagered in March. This is a 95.5% drop from a year ago.

April gaming revenue will be much worse

April’s gaming revenue in Nevada will be much worse. While casinos were closed in the middle of March, they’ve remained closed for the entire month of April. Additionally, video poker and slot machines in bars, taverns, supermarkets, and gas stations have also been turned off.

The only gaming revenue in Nevada for the month will come from one of the following sports wagering apps that remained open for the month.

  • BetMGM
  • Caesars
  • Circa Sports
  • William Hill

These four sportsbooks were only available to existing customers. Players must visit a brick and mortar casino to first set up a new sports wagering account. Since casinos were closed, no new accounts could be opened and funded.

Nevada doesn’t have full online casinos like New Jersey or Pennsylvania but it does have an online poker website. WSOP.com was also operational while brick and mortar casinos were closed in April.

Nevada casinos reopening

Nevada casinos won’t reopen on until mid to late May at the earliest. Governor Steve Sisolak says casinos will be able to open again during the third or fourth phase of his reopening plan.

Regardless of the opening date for brick and mortar casinos, the four sportsbook apps will have company. The Westgate SuperBook says the app will be turned on again on May 7.

When casinos do open for business again, don’t expect to see a return to normal business right away. During its first-quarter earnings call, MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle said the company would open properties in phases. Bellagio and New York-New York will be MGM Resorts’ first two Las Vegas casinos to reopen. There could be another casino opening depending on demand.

While MGM Resorts doesn’t have a health and safety plan for reopening yet the company will have one in the next two weeks. They say that casino floors will have to be reconfigured to allow proper spacing. This should mean fewer table games and machines will be available right away. As a result, gaming revenue should be lower even after casinos reopen.



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US Casinos Go Dark As Sporting Events Cancel

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With each passing day, it would be easy to say the world is becoming a darker place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses are closing, schools are shutting down, quarantines and social distancing is being enforced.

During these times, we must remember this age-old (albeit cliche) bit of wisdom: It is always darkest before the dawn.

Casinos across the country are certainly hoping that is the case, what with nearly all properties closing up shop.

Regardless, we continue to march forward. And with each passing day, we are one day closer to getting through to the other side.

On to the Rewind:

The day Las Vegas casinos went dark

Not long ago, Gov. Steve Sisolak was supporting Nevada casinos that remained open during the outbreak. The Silver State governor called gaming “the lifeblood of Nevada’s economy and the source of financial support for so many of our citizens and their families.” As such, he added, “I strongly support any decision our properties make.”

Soon after making that statement, Sisolak ordered the 30-day shutdown of all non-essential businesses in Nevada. On the day of St. Patrick, the Vegas Strip was deserted, and the state’s casinos joined a long list of properties across the country that have suspended operations.

Prior to Sisolak’s order, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore both voluntarily closed for at least two weeks. MGM Resorts followed suit, shutting down nine casinos in Vegas “until further notice. The likes of Venetian and Palazzo also entered the fold.

The last time Las Vegas casinos closed came nearly 50 years ago, as the city went dark for the funeral of John F. Kennedy in November 1963.

As noted, Nevada’s decision added to the already lengthy list of states that issued similar directives. Now, according to the American Gaming Association, all of the country’s 465 commercial casinos will be closed this week. To boot, some 97% of the nation’s 524 tribal properties will have done the same. All told, around 650,000 casino gaming employees will be affected, and $43.5 billion in economic activity will be taken away if casinos remain closed for two months.

Fortunately for Nevadans, online gambling will remain open. Several sportsbooks have opted to shut down mobile platforms, but the likes of Circa SportsWilliam Hill and WSOP.com remain operational.

Another massive sporting event postponed

Last week, news revolved around the postponement of the NBANHL and MLB seasons, as well as the NCAA electing to cancel March MadnessAugusta National pushing back the Masters, and so on.

Now the first leg in horse racing’s Triple Crown has found a new date.

The 146th Kentucky Derby, always scheduled for the first Saturday in May, will instead run Sept. 5, according to Churchill Downs. Also postponed: the Kentucky Oaks, which will take place Sept. 4.

The Derby has been held on the first Saturday in May all but once in the 145-year history of the event. That one exception: 1945, the conclusion of World War II.

While its rescheduling would otherwise indicate the Kentucky Derby would not be the first leg of the Triple Crown, reports suggest that NBC, which airs all three legs, is considering pushing back the Preakness and Belmont Stakes due to the coronavirus.

Maryland sports betting gains traction

A silver lining emerged amidst the ever-darkening clouds.

According to Legal Sports Report, the Maryland Senate overwhelmingly concurred (45-0) with changes the House made earlier regarding legalized MD sports betting.

As originally written when it sailed through the Senate, the bill to legalize wagering would authorize betting at four state casinos, three racetracks and potentially the Washington Redskins’ stadium and practice facility. Alas, along with several pages of the bill, this section was apparently taken out by the House.

As a result, the bill to legalize and regulate wagering in Maryland will go in front of state voters this year.

On the ballot, voters will face the question of favoring “the expansion of commercial gaming … to authorize sports and event betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education.”

Should they pass the referendum in November, the state legislature would need to pass another bill the following year detailing how the industry would operate.

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Gambling News

US Casinos Go Dark As Sporting Events Cancel

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With each passing day, it would be easy to say the world is becoming a darker place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses are closing, schools are shutting down, quarantines and social distancing is being enforced.

During these times, we must remember this age-old (albeit cliche) bit of wisdom: It is always darkest before the dawn.

Casinos across the country are certainly hoping that is the case, what with nearly all properties closing up shop.

Regardless, we continue to march forward. And with each passing day, we are one day closer to getting through to the other side.

On to the Rewind:

The day Las Vegas casinos went dark

Not long ago, Gov. Steve Sisolak was supporting Nevada casinos that remained open during the outbreak. The Silver State governor called gaming “the lifeblood of Nevada’s economy and the source of financial support for so many of our citizens and their families.” As such, he added, “I strongly support any decision our properties make.”

Soon after making that statement, Sisolak ordered the 30-day shutdown of all non-essential businesses in Nevada. On the day of St. Patrick, the Vegas Strip was deserted, and the state’s casinos joined a long list of properties across the country that have suspended operations.

Prior to Sisolak’s order, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore both voluntarily closed for at least two weeks. MGM Resorts followed suit, shutting down nine casinos in Vegas “until further notice. The likes of Venetian and Palazzo also entered the fold.

The last time Las Vegas casinos closed came nearly 50 years ago, as the city went dark for the funeral of John F. Kennedy in November 1963.

As noted, Nevada’s decision added to the already lengthy list of states that issued similar directives. Now, according to the American Gaming Association, all of the country’s 465 commercial casinos will be closed this week. To boot, some 97% of the nation’s 524 tribal properties will have done the same. All told, around 650,000 casino gaming employees will be affected, and $43.5 billion in economic activity will be taken away if casinos remain closed for two months.

Fortunately for Nevadans, online gambling will remain open. Several sportsbooks have opted to shut down mobile platforms, but the likes of Circa SportsWilliam Hill and WSOP.com remain operational.

Another massive sporting event postponed

Last week, news revolved around the postponement of the NBANHL and MLB seasons, as well as the NCAA electing to cancel March MadnessAugusta National pushing back the Masters, and so on.

Now the first leg in horse racing’s Triple Crown has found a new date.

The 146th Kentucky Derby, always scheduled for the first Saturday in May, will instead run Sept. 5, according to Churchill Downs. Also postponed: the Kentucky Oaks, which will take place Sept. 4.

The Derby has been held on the first Saturday in May all but once in the 145-year history of the event. That one exception: 1945, the conclusion of World War II.

While its rescheduling would otherwise indicate the Kentucky Derby would not be the first leg of the Triple Crown, reports suggest that NBC, which airs all three legs, is considering pushing back the Preakness and Belmont Stakes due to the coronavirus.

Maryland sports betting gains traction

A silver lining emerged amidst the ever-darkening clouds.

According to Legal Sports Report, the Maryland Senate overwhelmingly concurred (45-0) with changes the House made earlier regarding legalized MD sports betting.

As originally written when it sailed through the Senate, the bill to legalize wagering would authorize betting at four state casinos, three racetracks and potentially the Washington Redskins’ stadium and practice facility. Alas, along with several pages of the bill, this section was apparently taken out by the House.

As a result, the bill to legalize and regulate wagering in Maryland will go in front of state voters this year.

On the ballot, voters will face the question of favoring “the expansion of commercial gaming … to authorize sports and event betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education.”

Should they pass the referendum in November, the state legislature would need to pass another bill the following year detailing how the industry would operate.

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Gambling News

From The Raiders To New Casinos, Here Are Las Vegas’ 5 Big 2020 Happenings

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One of the great things about Las Vegas is that it is always changing. Sin City has truly evolved from only being a gambling destination. Non-gaming revenue has been greater than gambling revenue on the Vegas Strip since 1999.

People visiting Las Vegas have been spending more money on food, beverage, hotel rooms, etc. than on casino games for years. This isn’t exactly news and Las Vegas continues to change its business model to attract visitors seeking a variety of experiences.

Additionally, gamblers in just about every region of the country now live within driving distance of a casino. While they serve one need for gamblers, they don’t always offer everything a casino guest could want. Las Vegas casinos have big shows and residencies, the finest dining in the country, luxurious spas, and great mixologists for the drinkers.

But not everyone who visits Las Vegas comes for fun. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), 8% of visitors to Las Vegas last year were in town for a convention or meeting. These guests have a different purpose and spend money differently.

Only 41% of convention visitors gamble when visiting Las Vegas. Las Vegas is improving convention facilities at a rapid pace to draw more of these visitors because they bring greater revenue for the non-gaming areas in Las Vegas Casinos.

The same report from the LVCVA shows that leisure travelers spend $272.68 on food and drink while convention guests spend $427.07 drinking and dining. Similarly, nearly 90% of convention guests pay a negotiated full convention rate. That’s quite a difference from leisure travelers. Only about two-thirds of vacationers pay regular room rates.

Las Vegas will continue to be a great place to visit for work and play. Developments in 2020 will help ensure that stays the case with new casinos, renovated properties and better convention facilities. Oh yeah, people live in Las Vegas and there’s a little something coming to town that should become a local favorite.

1. Say hello to the Las Vegas Raiders

The Oakland Raiders will become the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020. The team brings along more than just eight regular-season home games to Las Vegas. This move is much more significant.

One of the keys to having the Raiders move to Las Vegas was building a new state-of-the-art football stadium near the Vegas Strip. The Raiders and Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee have teamed up to build Allegiant Stadium.

This 65,000 seat venue will be home more than just Raiders home games. The venue will also host a variety of sports and non-sports events thanks to a facilities management deal with AEG Worldwide. The company says they should have no problem filling the stadium for 46 events.

Allegiant Stadium will also become the home of UNLV football and the Pac 12 football championship game for the next two years. The Runnin’ Rebels previously played home games at Boyd Stadium. As the stadium nears completion in the summer of 2020, expect to hear announcements for concerts and other events after the newest venue in Las Vegas opens.

After the Raiders announced the move to Las Vegas, the NFL selected Las Vegas to host the NFL Draft. The event will take place in Las Vegas from April 23-25, 2020. Draft headquarters will be at the new Caesars Forum convention center behind Harrah’s. The location isn’t much of a surprise as the Caesars is the NFL’s first casino partner.

While much of the activity surrounding the Raiders will take place on or near the Vegas Strip, the team will actually touch the local market with its headquarters in Henderson. The Las Vegas Raiders will become a major part of the landscape for years to come.

2. Everything at Circa Resort & Casino

Casino developer Derek Stevens introduced his latest casino project, Circa Resort & Casino, in January of 2019. Stevens currently owns and operates The D Las Vegas and Golden Gate casinos. Circa will be his third downtown Las Vegas property when it opens in December 2020 in downtown Las Vegas.

Construction on Circa is bucking trends in Las Vegas in many ways. The casino is on budget and construction appears to be on schedule to open before the year is over. (Unfortunately, not every Las Vegas casino construction has stayed on time and on budget: Resorts World Las Vegas broke ground in 1995 and has been pushed back multiple times. It’s now slated to open in the summer of 2021.)

Another difference between Circa and other “new” Las Vegas casinos is that this is new construction. Park MGM, the newest casino in Las Vegas, is an update of an old casino named Monte Carlo. Circa will be the first new casino build in downtown Las Vegas since 1980.

The plans for Circa are massive. There will be 1.25 million square feet of amenities including:

  • A three-level sportsbook with the world’s sportsbook video screen and broadcast studios
  • Multilevel pool deck amphitheater with six pools that will be open all year round
  • A rejuvenating Spa
  • Casino on two floors
  • 777 hotel rooms and suites
  • Numerous restaurants

Circa Resort & Casino will be the tallest building north of the Vegas Strip. The property will be unlike any other in downtown Las Vegas. The pool and sportsbook will make the property a destination instead of a property visited just because it’s in a mall of casinos.

Stevens does a great job of combining classic Las Vegas service with modern amenities. Circa should be the pinnacle of this experience with great dining, gambling, drinking, a spa, and hotel rooms.

3. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas

The Hard Rock will close after the Super Bowl to make way for new casino and hotel operators in Las Vegas. Unlike other recent casino renovations at Park MGM and Palms, the property won’t be open during 10 months of construction. Once the renovation is complete in December 2020, the property will reopen as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Virgin will operate the hotel while Mohegan Gaming will operate the casino. These two companies bring a fresh look to Las Vegas. Virgin Hotels famously doesn’t attach fees to its rooms and could open a hotel in Las Vegas without parking and resort fees.

In addition, its hotels in Chicago, San Francisco, and Dallas offer complimentary WiFi. This would be a welcome addition to Las Vegas which has gotten a little fee happy in recent years.

Mohegan Gaming operates casinos all over the world, except Las Vegas. Virgin will be its first Las Vegas casino. The company offers fair gaming rules at its properties. Mohegan also has a different sportsbook partner than existing Las Vegas casinos.

The new property will also introduce a new casino loyalty club: Mohegan’s Momentum. The hotel will be a part of the Virgin Hotels loyalty club called “The Know.” Finally, the hotel will be part of the Hilton Curio collection. There will be many ways to earn and use rewards at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas should bring a new way of operating a casino-resort to Sin City. The potential of a property opening with no fees, fair gaming, multiple loyalty/rewards partners, new food and beverage partners should be exciting for those looking for a different experience

4. A new Circus Circus

MGM Resorts announced the sale of Circus Circus to Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin in October. The sale is complete and changes are already underway.

Since MGM Resorts no longer owns the property, they won’t be operating the sportsbook. William Hill is operating the sportsbook at Circus Circus. After the Super Bowl, they will renovate the sportsbook by updating the viewing screens, seating, and more in time for the first weekend of March Madness.

The main casino and Slots-A-Fun will be renovated but changes are already underway. Ruffin has already introduced improved gaming conditions that Treasure Island guests might be familiar with. There are now $10 3:2 blackjack games and craps odds have been upgraded to 3x-4x-5x from 2x. Circus Circus also removed MGM’s triple zero roulette game.

Major changes coming to Circus Circus include the closure of the only RV Park on the Vegas Strip. In its place, Ruffin plans to add a massive pool complex similar to Mandalay Bay Beach. He’s also planning on adding a new 2,000 seat theater to Circus Circus. This theater could be home to a new Cirque du Soleil show.

MGM also sold Ruffin 35 acres of land that most recently the Las Vegas Festival Grounds. Ruffin plans on developing this land with a partner. He previously said a family entertainment center could be built here.

The future is bright for Circus Circus as Ruffin plans to renovate the casino floor but not the rooms. This will keep room prices down as the property looks to find new customers. The rooms will be upgraded in the future but the goal is to keep Circus Circus an affordable family destination in Las Vegas.

5. Las Vegas convention expansions

As noted earlier, those visiting Las Vegas for conventions and meetings tend to spend more money on food, beverage, and hotel rooms than those visiting on vacation. It’s no surprise that the casino-resort operators are looking to attract more of these customers.

In 2018, MGM Resorts was ahead of the curve by expanding or improving many of its convention facilities. Not only is Las Vegas expanding its convention center but two casino operators are opening new facilities.

Wynn Resorts canceled its massive Paradise Park expansion in 2018. However, they kept one part of the plan. Instead of offering new amenities to a different customer, Wynn Las Vegas will continue to focus on its high-end guests. It will open a brand new convention and meeting space in February 2020.

Likewise, Caesars Entertainment is wrapping construction on the Caesars Forum as the new year begins. The new convention center is located behind Harrah’s and is a short walk to The Linq, Flamingo, and Caesars Palace. The increase in conventions should bring more convention customers to Caesars’ properties.

The expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center is creating the Convention Center District. The massive 1.4 million square foot phase of the expansion will be open by the Consumer Electronics Show in 2021. The footprint is so big that they’re building an underground people mover to transport convention guests around the huge convention space.



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Sports Betting

How Worth It Is To Follow Professional Tips To Play At Online Casinos?

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When it comes to choosing the best online casinos, the first thing which comes into our mind – is it worth to invest in an online gaming site and what if they takes all your money and just go? Well, the simple answer to this question is – you must choose a professional casino which has relevant customer feedback, offers huge returns, years of experience, always updated, etc. In short, the best online gaming sites in the world offer attractive bonuses and promotions like free spins, tournaments in various board games, protection in private data, and a variety of payment methods.

Enjoy and read carefully about guides regarding all the games that offer endless resources to become an expert. If you love playing, then you should do proper research where you can find recent information regarding new brands, news, reviews, tips, games, the best bonuses, and more. They will keep you up to date with the latest news, offers and a list of the latest bonus offers, so you can enjoy your favorite games and have fun to the extreme. In a professional website, you will find all the information regarding the world of online gaming. There you can check all the new brands for your convenience with the best bonuses like free spins, welcome bonuses, slot games, gaming providers, sports betting and news and reviews.

Advantages of Playing at Online Casinos

So let’s take a closer look and get in full to see what advantages it has when playing online.

  • No physical establishment will offer you free bonuses and spins of up to $3,000 as it is possible online.
  • You can participate in all current bonuses and promotions.
  • VIP scheme for frequent players.
  • Poker tournaments among others.
  • Big jackpots in slots with millions at stake.
  • A giant diversity of games, slots and sports betting.

Why Choose Online Gaming vs. a Physical One?

Everything in this life, there are always pros and cons. While in the physical land-base casino you can find tasty food and a fun gaming environment, in the online establishment you get massive bonuses, free spins, promotions, and tournaments that a physical land-base casino does not offer to you. Besides, playing online offers you virtual money to keep playing if your account is empty. It is not possible for everyone to visit Las Vegas, Macau or Goa to play.

In general, all sections can be found from the Menu bar of the website like bonuses, current news, special offers, free spins, guides to become an expert player, best slots, table games, live games by attractive dealers, sports betting, game developers and a variety of payment methods offered worldwide, deck and chips, etc. Within the portal, there is a section where we introduce of all the best online casinos with bonuses, free spins and all the advantages offered by these new establishments which will take you there by simply clicking on the brand of your liking.

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Source by Ari Waknine