Whenever Las Vegas Strip casinos reopen, at least one of the major poker rooms won’t be immediately open for business.
According to a report from Bloomberg, when Wynn Resorts opens its casinos for business, poker games will not be available. In an effort to keep human contact at a minimum, the company will keep closed both of its U.S.-facing poker rooms at Encore in Las Vegas and Boston. Both rooms will open at a later date when executives feel it’s safe to offer.
“We don’t in any way want to do anything we can’t execute as safely as possible,” said president of Encore Boston Harbor Brian Gullbrants on Bloomberg Radio. “This is an evolving situation.”
The announcement essentially cancels any hope of the Wynn Summer Classic taking place this year in Vegas and is the latest major tournament series to be canceled or postponed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Series of Poker was postponed last month with organizers hoping to reschedule in October. The Aria Resort and Casino also recently canceled its summer tournament offerings, including its Summer High Roller Series.
In section 11 of a 28-page health and safety guideline released by Wynn, there were protocols laid out to ensure that the games could take place in as safe an environment as possible. They included changing decks every two hours, cleaning the area around a seat after a player leaves the game, as well as keeping extra distance between tables.
It apparently wasn’t enough to convince executives that poker was safe to reopen at the same time as the rest of the casino. Several casinos in Arizona that have recently opened for business have taken similar steps with a likelihood that at least a good chunk of those rooms will not open again.
Other rooms have reopened with varying levels of safety protocols in place. Some California rooms have opened for business as usual with nine-handed tables, others are only spreading short-handed games with between four and six players, while a handful of Florida rooms are opening with plexiglass dividers between players.
Along with poker, craps will also be under heavy restrictions at Wynn properties, since the game tends to draw large crowds that all use the same pair of dice. At its Boston location, craps will only be allowed in the high-limit section of the casino.
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