A global health crisis doesn’t appear to be of major concern to the Venetian poker room in Las Vegas. At least, not yet. The 32-table card room on the Strip will continue operations despite the coronavirus scare. But management is implementing a strict policy in an effort to adhere to social distancing recommendations from health experts.
The Orleans, a mile west of the Strip, will also keep its poker room running. Like the Venetian, Orleans is taking some social distancing precautions. It’s questionable if they will actually be effective, however.
Most Las Vegas poker rooms are closed or will be closed by Tuesday. That includes world-famous rooms at Aria and Bellagio, both MGM Resorts properties. All MGM casinos and hotels will temporarily cease operations on Tuesday. Wynn/Encore, which boasts another top place to play poker in Sin City, is also shutting down.
Of the 31 poker rooms in Las Vegas, only 18 have plans to remain open beyond Tuesday. That includes the Venetian poker room, a Sheldon Adelson-owned casino. We expect that number to decline in the coming days as more operators decide to heed the advice of health experts.
Venetian Poker Room Making the Right Decision?
The Venetian poker room is certainly one of the top places to play poker in town. That is, of course, unless you despise Adelson for his constant anti-online poker crusade. But many poker players on social media are critical of the card room for remaining open during the coronavirus pandemic.
That said, Venetian is at least taking some precautionary members to try and alleviate the spread of the coronavirus at its tables.
“Due to recent restrictions from the Nevada Gaming Control board, all play in the poker room will have a maximum of three players per table,” a public statement from the Venetian poker room read.
Three-handed cash game poker will seem about as appealing to many players as the Venetian’s recent decision to increase its rake to $9. CardsChat ambassador Ryan Laplante, for one, doesn’t seem too thrilled.
Shut this down.
— Ryan Laplante?️? (@Protentialmn) March 16, 2020
Chris Moneymaker shared Laplante’s sentiments, but he was a bit harsher.
“If I didn’t ban you from my life years ago, then I will reban you. This is stupid,” the 2003 WSOP Main Event champ commented on Twitter.
Orleans Poker Room Still in Operation Despite Elderly Crowd
If you’ve ever played at the Orleans poker room, you’re aware the main demographic of that room is old enough to have voted for President Nixon. Most individuals who have died from the coronavirus are aged 50 and above, but that hasn’t stopped the Orleans poker room from staying busy over the past week. In fact, it’s been the busiest card room in town for the past few days.
The Orleans will, like Venetian, keep its poker room open, according to a social media announcement. But, also like Venetian, the room will take some precautionary measures.
In response to government and health officials' recommendations of social distancing, all poker games at the Orleans Poker Room will be played with a maximum of five players per table until further notice. We appreciate your understanding.
— OrleansPokerRoom (@OrleansPokerRo1) March 16, 2020
On Tuesday, President Trump recommended all citizens avoid gatherings of 10 or more people for at least the next 15 days. The Venetian poker room and Orleans poker room clearly don’t care about the President’s requests.