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WSOP Officially Postponed Due To Pandemic, But May Return This Fall

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The 51st running World Series Of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas has been postponed. The move comes after weeks of rumors and speculation that the largest poker tournament of the year will be delayed or canceled.

Caesars Entertainment, operators of WSOP, says the postponement of the tournament is due to the public health emergency involving COVID-19 which has closed all US casinos. The company says that they would like to have the WSOP return later this year if and when the coronavirus pandemic concerns have lessened.

World Series of Poker is postponed — not canceled

WSOP 2020 has not been canceled. Caesars is targeting dates sometime in the fall of 2020 for the return of the poker tournament. The company will announce the exact dates in the future. Depending on the timeline they may have to reduce the number of events for the WSOP.

Last year more than 180,000 players participated in 90 events at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This year the annual WSOP was set to run from May 26 to July 15, 2020. The original WSOP schedule included 117 events.

Regardless of how many events could be canceled this year, WSOP will include poker’s world championship, the $10,000 buy-in Main Event championship. This is the most prestigious event and richest prize pool on the poker calendar every year.

“We are committed to running the World Series of Poker this year but need additional time to proceed on our traditional scale while prioritizing guest and staff well-being,” said Ty Stewart, executive director of the World Series of Poker.

WSOP.com still operating

Stewart continued saying “in the interim, official WSOP competitions are expected to be played online this summer, and we will soon announce details of an expanded series of tournaments to be played on WSOP.com and through a partnership with international operators, which will allow players to chase WSOP glory from their homes.”

WSOP.com is still operating so poker players can keep their skills sharp while remaining quarantined. The online poker website shares liquidity in the following states:

  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
  • Nevada

There are still more than 40 tournaments taking place in the WSOP Spring Online Championships which runs through May 3. Additionally, there are Sunday tournaments with a guaranteed prize of $100,000.

The big news of all is that the WSOP.com online bracelet events will continue as planned this summer. There will be a total of 14 online WSOP tournaments this summer. Buy-ins range in price from $400 to $10,000.

New Caesars could mean changes for WSOP

Eldorado Resorts is still in the process of closing a merger deal with Caesars Entertainment. The deal should be completed by June. Eldorado Resorts will operate the new company which will keep the name “Caesars” – without the entertainment.

While Caesars has a two-year lease to operate the Rio, the new company could decide to relocate the WSOP elsewhere in Las Vegas this year. It’s expected that Las Vegas casinos could re-open in stages. The Rio could remain shuttered for longer than other Caesars properties in Las Vegas since it’s located off the Vegas Strip and away from the other properties.

Even if Rio opens, Caesars could decide to relocate WSOP anyway. This could be an opportunity to showcase the new Caesars Forum convention center opening behind The Linq and Harrah’s. The new convention center was supposed to host the 2020 NFL Draft which was turned into a virtual event as Las Vegas shuttered all non-essential businesses for April.

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William Hill CEO Says He Anticipates Return To Normalcy In Due Time

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The US gambling industry finds itself in uncharted territory. All professional and collegiate sports are on hiatus. Every single commercial casino (and most tribal properties) around the country has closed, causing a wave of unemployed workers. When historians look back at these few months a decade from now, they will refer to it as a period of uncertainty.

But despite this dark cloud hovering over the industry, there are those, like William Hill CEO Joe Asher, who remain optimistic and anticipate a return to normalcy in due time.

In the past few months, Asher has consistently expressed his firm position that the industry will bounce back — with the divine factor being patience. In an interview with PlayUSA, he spoke on this and a number of different gaming topics.

Outlook on sports betting

“Over time, I don’t have any doubt gaming comes back to where it was. I don’t think this is a long term structural issue for the industry,” Asher said to PlayUSA. “I just think it’s going to take us a while, broadly speaking, to get back where we were just even a month ago.”

In its wake, the coronavirus pandemic has left the industry struggling to stay afloat. Some sports betting operators now allow customers to bet on things like table tennis, sumo wrestling, and esports.

At William Hill sportsbooks, there has been a shift to betting on the NFL Draft. Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is priced at -280 with 3.5 odds to be taken in the top three. Tagoviloa is projected to be a first-round pick and has received 16% of the total number of tickets. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is the next highest at 7%.

When asked about all the “niche” sports and prop bets now available, Asher said they don’t move the needle from a revenue perspective, but it provides a distraction from the “doom and gloom” on television.

“Obviously, you start trying to figure out what you can come up with to let people bet on. The important thing is, we don’t make any money on this overall because the cost to offer is more than the revenue from it,” he said.

Asher said, giving customers something to wager on provides a distraction allowing people, even if briefly, to focus on something else for a change.

“I think sports betting will come back pretty strongly. When you talk about gaming, there are different aspects. I think this is going to be a tough year, at least in Las Vegas, because it’s going to be a while before you see the convention business resume and people getting on airplanes to fly out here. But I think sports betting will come back pretty quickly once the games get going again,” Asher said.

Casinos proceeding with caution

One of the burning questions industry executives, employees, and customers have been pondering is: how and when will casinos reopen to the public?

Although specifics on how and when the industry will open are not yet available, Asher said it most certainly will not be “flip the switch,” and everything is back to normal.

“Some of this will be determined by what happens with the various legislative efforts around the country. Sports will bounce back perhaps a little quicker. But right now, if you own multiple casinos in a particular market, you have to be thinking several things,” Asher said.

In his assessment, Asher said operators must determine if they should open all properties at once or should they consolidate operations in the short term. But most importantly, he said at the top of the list is how you accomplish all this safely.

“Nobody wants to be in a situation where you, your employees, or your customers, are at risk. Everybody will have to be comfortable from a safety perspective,” he said. “From the outset, I’ve been saying we have a public health crisis and a business crisis going on in the country. There is only so much you can do on the business side until you solve the public health issue. That has to be addressed first.”

It’s going to be an enormous task to ensure 649,000 gaming employees spread across 973 casinos return to work safely. It will be another to recoup the $43.5 billion in economic activity that most certainly will be lost.

“Our industry is a small portion of the economy,” Asher said. “Safety, to me, is going to drive the timing and scope of the business recovery. That continues to be paramount. You must make sure you are protecting workers who have been displaced,” he said.

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William Hill CEO Says He Anticipates Return To Normalcy In Due Time

[ad_1]

The US gambling industry finds itself in uncharted territory. All professional and collegiate sports are on hiatus. Every single commercial casino (and most tribal properties) around the country has closed, causing a wave of unemployed workers. When historians look back at these few months a decade from now, they will refer to it as a period of uncertainty.

But despite this dark cloud hovering over the industry, there are those, like William Hill CEO Joe Asher, who remain optimistic and anticipate a return to normalcy in due time.

In the past few months, Asher has consistently expressed his firm position that the industry will bounce back — with the divine factor being patience. In an interview with PlayUSA, he spoke on this and a number of different gaming topics.

Outlook on sports betting

“Over time, I don’t have any doubt gaming comes back to where it was. I don’t think this is a long term structural issue for the industry,” Asher said to PlayUSA. “I just think it’s going to take us a while, broadly speaking, to get back where we were just even a month ago.”

In its wake, the coronavirus pandemic has left the industry struggling to stay afloat. Some sports betting operators now allow customers to bet on things like table tennis, sumo wrestling, and esports.

At William Hill sportsbooks, there has been a shift to betting on the NFL Draft. Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is priced at -280 with 3.5 odds to be taken in the top three. Tagoviloa is projected to be a first-round pick and has received 16% of the total number of tickets. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is the next highest at 7%.

When asked about all the “niche” sports and prop bets now available, Asher said they don’t move the needle from a revenue perspective, but it provides a distraction from the “doom and gloom” on television.

“Obviously, you start trying to figure out what you can come up with to let people bet on. The important thing is, we don’t make any money on this overall because the cost to offer is more than the revenue from it,” he said.

Asher said, giving customers something to wager on provides a distraction allowing people, even if briefly, to focus on something else for a change.

“I think sports betting will come back pretty strongly. When you talk about gaming, there are different aspects. I think this is going to be a tough year, at least in Las Vegas, because it’s going to be a while before you see the convention business resume and people getting on airplanes to fly out here. But I think sports betting will come back pretty quickly once the games get going again,” Asher said.

Casinos proceeding with caution

One of the burning questions industry executives, employees, and customers have been pondering is: how and when will casinos reopen to the public?

Although specifics on how and when the industry will open are not yet available, Asher said it most certainly will not be “flip the switch,” and everything is back to normal.

“Some of this will be determined by what happens with the various legislative efforts around the country. Sports will bounce back perhaps a little quicker. But right now, if you own multiple casinos in a particular market, you have to be thinking several things,” Asher said.

In his assessment, Asher said operators must determine if they should open all properties at once or should they consolidate operations in the short term. But most importantly, he said at the top of the list is how you accomplish all this safely.

“Nobody wants to be in a situation where you, your employees, or your customers, are at risk. Everybody will have to be comfortable from a safety perspective,” he said. “From the outset, I’ve been saying we have a public health crisis and a business crisis going on in the country. There is only so much you can do on the business side until you solve the public health issue. That has to be addressed first.”

It’s going to be an enormous task to ensure 649,000 gaming employees spread across 973 casinos return to work safely. It will be another to recoup the $43.5 billion in economic activity that most certainly will be lost.

“Our industry is a small portion of the economy,” Asher said. “Safety, to me, is going to drive the timing and scope of the business recovery. That continues to be paramount. You must make sure you are protecting workers who have been displaced,” he said.

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The Latest Updates On Every US Casino Closed Due To Coronavirus

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This is an ongoing story and will be updated regularly 

The uncontrollable spread of COVID-19 has brought the casino industry to a grinding halt. Across the country, properties are beginning to close their doors to casual and experts bettors in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Though many gamblers will turn to horse betting, online casinos and online poker, our staff at PlayUSA wants to keep you up to date with a list of casino properties that have suspended operations in the wake of this global pandemic.

Nevada casinos

State leaders have not exactly called for a full shutdown of Nevada casinos. Rather, Gov. Steve Sisolak provided strong support for “any decision our properties make … whether or not to close.”

Wynn Las Vegas and its attached sister property Encore elected to suspend operations for at least two weeks, beginning March 17 at 6 p.m.

MGM Resorts will also close its nine Vegas casinos on March 17 “until further notice.” Those properties include:

  • MGM Grand
  • Mandalay Bay
  • Luxor
  • Excalibur
  • New-New York
  • Aria and Vdara at CityCenter
  • Park MGM
  • Bellagio
  • The Mirage

For properties remaining open, the Nevada Gaming Control Board on March 16 issued “Restrictions on Operations during COVID-19 Outbreak” to all of the state’s gaming licensees.

The board emphasized that it will enforce the following restrictions, which will remain in place until further notice:

  • There may be no more than three chairs at each table game.
  • Each gaming machine must be cleaned and sanitized at least once every two hours.
  • Patrons may not serve themselves from buffets that remain open. Similarly, employees may not
    serve themselves in employee dining areas.
  • The gaming floor and other public areas of a licensee’s property must operate under the latest
    social distancing guidance from Nevada’s medical advisory team.

For those wishing to stay home, Nevada offers online poker via the World Series of Poker website and WSOP app.

Pennsylvania casinos

As of March 16, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has provided a list of Pennsylvania casino operators that have temporarily closed their doors. (Keep in mind that PA online casinos are fully operational.) The PGCB notes, casinos not on the list remain open but may have restrictions.

This announcement will most likely affect all PA sports betting operations as well. Currently, the four major pillars of sports, NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL have suspended all play for the foreseeable future. Additionally, the NCAA, NASCAR and several other major sports leagues have all suspended operations for the time being.

Casinos and racetracks closed:

  • Oak Sports and Turf Club
  • Valley Forge Casino Resort
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino
  • Rivers Philadelphia Casino
  • Rivers Pittsburgh Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook
  • Wind Creek Bethlehem
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
  • Mount Airy Casino Resort
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono
  • Lady Luck Nemacolin
  • Meadows Casino and Racetrack
  • Presque Isle Racetrack and Casino

Online casino and online poker remain up and running in PA and could see higher than normal player traffic. Here is a list of PA Casinos and their online partners:

  • SugarHouse Casino — PlaySugarhouse
  • Hollywood Casino — Hollywood Casino
  • Rivers Casino — BetRivers Casino
  • Valley Forge Casino — FanDuel Casino
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono — Unibet Casino
  • Mount Airy Casino — The Stars Group
  • Parx Casino — GAN (only Android available)

Illinois casinos

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) announced Monday, the entire gambling industry must suspend operations for 14 days. This includes all Illinois casinos, all video gaming operations, and all Illinois sports betting. There are 35,483 video gaming terminals in the state operating at 7,307 bars, restaurants and truckstops.

Gov. JB Pritzker also announced all dine-in service will be suspended at all bars and restaurants across the state.

Casinos and racetracks closed:

  • Argosy Casino Alton
  • Casino Queen
  • Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel
  • Grand Victoria Casino
  • Hollywood Casino Aurora
  • Hollywood Casino Joliet
  • Rivers Casino
  • Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino
  • Harrah’s Metropolis Casino & Hotel
  • Jumer’s Casino & Hotel
  • Fairmont Park
  • Hawthorne Casino and Race Course

Louisiana casinos

Effective March 16 at midnight, the shutdown of the Lousiana casino industry will commence. Ronnie Jones, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, announced that state police will be working to help implement the shutdown process.

“In an effort to protect the health and wellbeing of [casino] employees and guest, the board is in the process of preparing a formal order directing the closure of the gaming operations at all 20 casinos in the state for a period of 14 days, subject to extension,” Jones said.

Casinos closed:

  • Boomtown Bossier
  • Eldorado Resort
  • Horseshoe
  • Diamond Jacks
  • Sam’s Town
  • Margaritaville
  • Isle Lake Charles
  • L’auberge Lake Charles
  • Golden Nugget Lake Charles
  • Amelia Belle
  • Boomtown New Orleans
  • Treasure Chest
  • Belle of Baton Rouge
  • Hollywood Baton Rouge
  • L’auberge Baton Rouge
  • Harrah’s New Orleans Casino
  • Delta Downs
  • Harrah’s LA Downs
  • Evangeline Downs
  • Fair Grounds

Washington casinos

The state of Washington has seemingly become a hotbed for the virus.

As such, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a prohibition of events featuring more than 250 people, as well as ordering the closure of restaurants, bars, entertainment and recreational activities.

The order itself does not apply to Washington casinos as they reside on tribal land. Many properties are adjusting hours of operation, but only a select few are closing – in their own ways.

For example, 12 Tribes Resort Casino temporarily closed for cleaning “until further notice.”

Meanwhile, Coulee Dam Casino and Mill Bay Casino remain open but will shut its doors twice a week for cleaning.

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