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Las Vegas Strip Rio Casino Resort Plans a Return in December

  • Written By Samantha Browne
  • Edited
  • Reading 5 minutes

Caesars is preparing to restart the off-Las Vegas Strip Rio Casino Resort, said chief executive Tom Reeg on Thursday. With 2020 proving difficult, Caesars managed to keep most of its 56 gaming properties open, with just the Rio having to suspend operations.

Now, Reeg believes that the resort can restart operations as early as next month, charting a reopening push for mid-December. Yet, the promise raises a few questions, and specifically whether Reeg and Caesars may restart the venue in light of tightening Las Vegas restrictions.

Reeg, though, is confident that Americans desire to find wortwhile gambling venues is increasing, as recently demonstrated by ballot victories for gambling expansion bills in multiple states. Caesars President Anthony Carano pitched in and argued that Nevada is on a road to recover, with Governor Steve Sisolak loosening up restrictions and allowing more people to gather in venues.

The Caesars Forum Conference Center has been one of the best ways to gauge this recovery, Reeg said, with the venue booking 172 events all throughout 2021 and expect to have 1.6 million rooms reserved as a result.

Despite an upbeat overall attitude, Reeg remained cautious, arguing that while Caesars felt strongly about the restart and return to normalcy, none of that would be possible before the healthcare crisis can be resolved, which would probably take a vaccine to do.

Massachusetts Prepares for New Casino Restrictions

MGM Springfield is preparing for a new round of restrictions that will see the casino’s opening hours limited to 9:30 pm. While the MGM Springfield has been built as a property supposedly never to close down and be available 24/7, the casino will now have to start shutting down its gambling floor and eateries as early as the new curfew hour reintroduced by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

The rules come into effect on Friday, November 6, and will be in force until such a time the health situation in Massachusetts improves. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission shared the casino’s concerns, and acknowledged that late hours are essential for the proper operation of a casino.

However, it’s all part of the “greater good,” said MGC Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein. The casino access at MGM Springfield will be restored every morning at 10 am and it will be once again shut down at 9:15 pm.

Hard Rock Seeks to Add 200 Croupiers for Indiana Casino

Much about the coronavirus pandemic suggests bad news, but Hard Rock is bucking the trend and now looking to hire 800 live dealers. The upcoming Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana is opening doors next spring, but the operator wants to welcome people to a temporary opening on November 17 and November 19.

As part of the experience, hard Rock will be hiring 200 full-time and part-time live dealers later in spring. Hard Rock will also accept employees from the Gary’s Majestic Star casinos, all of whom will be transferred to the Hard Rock Casino.

Despite the transfer, though, the company will still need to hire 200 additional live croupiers, whether they are brought on in full-time capacity or as part-time workers. While gaming will be an important part of the experience, visitors to the casino will also enjoy a variety of dining venues, with some five restaurants and eaters available.

Golden Entertainment Sees Signs of Improvement Following Shutdowns

Shutdowns are definitely a necessity when business is down, but for Golden Entertainment things haven’t been going so badly. While forcibly discontinuation of operations is never welcome, the company has seen a quick recovery in the third quarter across its properties,  Golden Entertainment said during its earnings call on Thursday.

Quarterly earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) were $45.4 million, which is one of the highest results the company has had. Commenting on these developments, Golden President Charles Protell had this to add:

“Our record third quarter results demonstrated that our diverse portfolio of locals-oriented and regional gaming operations have rebounded quickly from the mandated shutdowns in March.”

Protell argued that reopenings across multiple states and performances at Golden Entertainment’s properties have been reassuring and in fact sustainable. Looking forward, though, the company will focus on improving performance across a number of verticals and build products that are better-adjusted to the volatile nature of disruptive events.

Pala Casino to Discontinue Poker Room and Replace It with Asian Games

Not all goodbyes have to be permanent and Pala Casino, Spa & Resort is trying something new. Its poker room has been discontinued but not abandoned, and the casino will now introduce a dedicated Asian gaming room.

While poker is a favorite in Las Vegas and across the United States, gaming hubs in Southeast Asia and specifically in Macau bank on Baccarat and Pai Gow Poker, two games that have had limited exposure in the United States.

Pala is trying to restore faith in these games and boost awareness, and it will do so introducing a number of Asian-themed titles, including Mini Baccarat, Face Up Pai Gow Poker, Double Deck Blackjack and Queens Dragon Pai Gow Poker.

Coley McAvoy, spokesperson for Pala, confirmed the news and said that the casino has found better utilization for the space.

The Mirage, Mandalay Bay, Excalibur Poker Rooms Closing Down

With the fates of unopened Las Vegas poker rooms unclear, as the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported previously, three properties are reportedly shutting down permanently. They include the Mirage, Mandalay Bay, and Excalibur poker rooms, three well-established and popular poker venues in Las Vegas.

All three properties are owned by MGM Resorts and have been operating at reduced capacity. While the poker rooms still have a “temporarily closed” label attached to them, and MGM Resorts not confirming the news, the poker community has already responded.

Daniel Negreanu posted a picture of The Mirage with a brief message: “I grew up here,” eliciting interaction from other community members. Little is known as to why these card rooms are shutting-down, but the most logical explanation is the painfully slow recover of the poker segment, which has been the most impacted form the casino sector.

Samantha has a passion for all things casino, especially for the development in new slots games and technology. She has a background in psychology and loves to study strategies behind gambling in her spare time.