Station Casinos has finally reopened three of its Las Vegas poker rooms, two months after the properties reopened. The Venetian poker room, meanwhile, has been granted permission from the Nevada Gaming Control Board to spread eight-handed games.
The Las Vegas poker scene has grown drastically over the past few weeks. During reopening weekend in Nevada, only four card rooms returned to action — Venetian, South Point, Orleans, and Golden Nugget. But that list has since increased to 14, which means 17 poker rooms in town still remain closed.
The Venetian poker room on the Las Vegas Strip recently went from six-handed play to eight-handed play. Short-handed poker in Southern Nevada has been short-lived. When the casinos first reopened in June, the NGCB permitted four-handed play, maximum. But the committee has since relaxed its restrictions.
Poker is Back at Station Casinos
Venetian was the first card room to spread eight-handed games, but players are divided by plexiglass barriers. Station Casinos reopened three card rooms on Monday — Santa Fe, Boulder Station, and Red Rock. All three of those poker rooms have eight-handed games available and, like at the Venetian, players are separated by plexiglass barriers.
Station Casinos is a major gaming industry brand in Nevada. The multi-billion-dollar company operates 10 full-scale casinos in Las Vegas, along with some additional smaller gambling establishments. Stations’ properties include five poker rooms, although two of them aren’t ready to reopen. Green Valley Ranch in Henderson and Palace Station, a property just west of the Strip, continue to operate without poker for the time being.
Red Rock boasts the most popular poker room among the Station Casinos. The luxurious Summerlin mega-resort attracts mostly low-stakes locals, but also a fair share of tourists. It is far and away the most popular place to play poker in or near the upscale Summerlin community.
Red Rock’s poker room has 20 card tables. On most nights in the pre-COVID days, the room would have numerous games running. Monday’s reopening night was a bit slow, with just five games spread and only a small wait-list. Santa Fe, which has 14 tables, only had a couple of games running on Monday night. Boulder Station, a casino east of the Strip, had a successful reopening night with 7-8 games going throughout the evening.
Face masks are required for entry into any Las Vegas area business, including casinos and poker rooms. Given Nevada’s coronavirus problems — averaging nearly 1,000 confirmed cases per day over the past month — don’t expect those restrictions to be lifted anytime soon.