The global spread of coronavirus /Covid-19/ has already impacted the casino industry, as the general approach towards limiting the outbreak is to prevent people from gathering. Live poker has already been affected, too, with a number of high-end tournaments around the world being taken off the calendar due to the pandemic virus spread. In Las Vegas, though, some gaming operators heeded the warning and closed or will close its facilities, while others show where their priorities lie. And it is definitely not health concerns.
Health vs Revenue
Out of 31 poker rooms in Sin City, only 18 consider operating beyond Tuesday, after President Trump asked the nation to avoid discretionary travel and social gatherings. World-famous poker rooms such as Aria and Bellagio, housed in MGM Resorts properties, will close doors as all MGM casinos and hotels are temporarily ceasing operations to join the effort to halt the spread of the disease. Wynn Resorts, the company operating Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, has also decided to close doors to reduce the risk of further spreading the virus.
The Venetian – 3-Max
The health of the nation seems to be of little concern to the Venetian poker room, compared to the revenue the 32-table card room generates, as it will continue operations, despite the threat of the coronavirus, albeit with some restrictions, as its management is implementing a strict policy to adhere to the recommendations from health experts regarding social distancing.
“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.”The Venetian poker room
The Orleans – 5-Max
Another poker room where management seems to think more about revenue than the health of its employees and customers is the Orleans, a mile west of the Strip. Much alike the Venetian, table restrictions will be in place.
“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.”The Orleans poker room
Despite the fact that most of its regulars are within the age bracket with most fatalities from the coronavirus, 50 and above, the Orleans poker room continue operations and its clients, as much as the poker room itself, keep neglecting the risk for their health by coming to play.
Whether the implemented table restrictions by the Venetian and the Orleans poker rooms would be effective is questionable and their stance to remain open during times when everyone joins the effort to halt the spread of the virus has already spurred criticism in social media.