The coronavirus has forced US gambling establishments to close for a full year, which has dealt a huge blow to every state’s economy. But in a few days, the “victory” over COVID-19 will be celebrated almost officially – all the plexiglass (separating plastic at the gaming tables) will be removed and the gaming halls will be filled 100%.
“It’s time to lift the economy”
Local US retail giants like Target or Walmart have already allowed people to enter their supermarkets without masking or social distancing. Their example was followed by gambling establishments almost throughout the country – on June 1, vaccinated US residents will be able to live a normal life. From those who refuse the vaccine or have not yet been vaccinated, nothing will be required in gambling establishments either. According to official figures, half of Americans are vaccinated.
From March 2020 to February 2021, strict restrictions on the operation of casinos were in force in the United States: the occupancy of the premises should not exceed 30-40% (in some states it could be a little more), everyone was obliged to wear personal protective equipment, the game was 4-max (later the number of players at the table gradually increased), and the hated plexiglass was installed on the tables.
In such conditions, many casinos suspended their work or were forced to close altogether.
In March, Las Vegas (Nevada) establishments were allowed to fill 50% of seats and the month became a record for the last 8 years – the total profit from gambling amounted to $ 1 billion… People have missed playing offline, including poker. Several major series from Wynn Resorts, as well as the World Poker Tour, have already been held in the USA – their main events have collected thousands of registrations.
Observant Vegas residents have already noticed a huge influx of tourists to their hometown, as not only casinos have returned, but also concerts of world stars.
Summer promises to be eventful even without the WSOP
The fact that by June 1 plexiglass will be removed from all major casino chains such as MGM Resorts (Aria, Bellagio and MGM Grand) and Caesars, and the entrance will be open to everyone, even without masks, promises a busy poker summer.
The US “gambling supervision” has one important condition: at least 80% of the institution’s employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19. They will be able to work even without masks.
Wynn Casino was one of the first to catch the wave of “antique” poker hype. On May 27, it kicks off a series of 30 Wynn Summer Classic tournaments with the $ 10,000,000 GTD Wynn MILLIONS Main Event. Moreover, the series will last until July 13 (one and a half months).
High rollers will be able to find some decent action for themselves in Aria, where traditional tournaments of $ 10,000 every week have returned. Daniel Negreanu even managed to successfully perform in a couple of them.
It’s gonna take me a while to get used to this plexiglass deal!
First live tournament or poker session since the pandemic.
Definitely weird. pic.twitter.com/qiFNZ4JhB7
– Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) May 7, 2021
Transfer: It will take a long time to get used to plexiglass! This is my first tournament since the pandemic. Unusual sensations.
The Venetian who outperformed all the competitors – already on May 3, albeit in plexiglass, the casino launched a huge series of Deepstack Championship Poker Series with a total guarantee of $ 15,000,000. Every day within the walls of the institution there are 2 tournaments with buy-ins from $ 200. Even the photographs of the winners are taken behind plexiglass.
Speaking of summer without the WSOP. Many were, of course, upset for the second year in a row without the Summer World Series of Poker at the Rio Casino. But this time the series will take place, although it was postponed to the fall from September 30 to November 23. Read more about this in a separate article.
WSOP 2021 will take place in Las Vegas from September 30 to November 23
Not Vegas alone
In Los Angeles, people will not be deprived of poker either. Bicycle Casino has one of the largest poker rooms in the country and, despite the work with restrictions and the mandatory mask mode, it still welcomes visitors.
In addition, Bicycle launched a noble initiative – the casino agreed to become a vaccination point for one day. On May 27, everyone can come from 8 am and receive an injection of Johnson & Johnson vaccine – although its effectiveness is recognized below the same Pfizer, but vaccination takes place in one stage.
Returning to poker, Bycicle does not yet boast a tournament streak with a guarantee of tens of millions of dollars, but the famous show “Live at the Bike” – a cash game within the walls of the institution, which takes place live. There, by the way, was one of the main scandals of 2019 with the participation of Mike Postle.