Some interesting stories are coming from Nevada, with Paris Las Vegas power outage keeping the casino in dark for two hours on Thursday night. Encore Las Vegas was also in dark this week, although intentionally. Its parent-company Wynn Resorts has decided to keep the casino closed mid-week due to low demand.
Not everything was doom and gloom in Nevada last week. There were also some positive stories coming in, such as the one about live entertainment returning to all MGM properties in Las Vegas. A similar announcement was released by Caesars as well. The company has also confirmed that the last still-closed casino on the Strip, Cromwell, is going to reopen next week. The time is also coming for Circa Resort & Casino to launch in downtown Vegas.
All these plans, however, are in jeopardy. They could end up postponed if the epidemiological situation in Nevada worsens in the near future. According to Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, the state is facing an “alarming trend” in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, he did say no new restrictions are planned at the moment.
In online gaming news, Poker Stars VR now has blackjack and video slots in the offer, turning its platform into a proper internet casino. Over in the UK, an online casino is giving away money to the National Health Service (NHS), matching 20% of new players’ deposits.
Paris Las Vegas Power Outage Causes Panic Among Patrons
On Thursday night (October, 22), Paris Las Vegas suffered a power outage. The Las Vegas Strip property that serves as a hotel and casino stayed in dark for two hours, causing chaos among patrons. The casino players were the ones to get evacuated first, while the hotel guests had to wait a while longer to get the stuff to guide them outside.
There are some reports that people were trapped inside the six elevators during the outage. Luckily, no injuries were reported, although one person did have to go to the hospital as a result of breathing problems.
Encore Las Vegas Not Working Tuesdays & Wednesdays
Starting this week, Encore will not be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. As per the new schedule, the casino will open its doors on Thursday at 2 pm, before shutting down on Monday at noon. The new schedule is going to remain in action indefinitely.
The reason behind this decision is that the property has not seen too many visitors lately. It’s suggested that the costs of keeping Encore open are higher than the revenue the property is making. Meanwhile, its twin property, Wynn Las Vegas will continue its business as usual.
The obvious explanation for the low number of visitors is the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are Americans traveling way less than in the pre-pandemic times, but the anti-coronavirus regulations are restricting the number of patrons inside the casinos. Plus, in the last couple of weeks, Las Vegas has experienced an increase in violence, which could have a very negative impact on tourism.
There were reports of gunfire, fighting in the streets, and even some small-scale riots happening this month. Encore itself was the location of a violent fight that resulted in $15,000 damage to the casino. As a result, Wynn Resorts has decided to increase the security measures in its Las Vegas properties, even adding a K-9 team to patrol the two properties on the Strip.
Live Entertainment is Back at MGM and Caesars Properties
Good news for Las Vegas entertainment is coming from MGM. The company spokesperson said on Tuesday that three of its Vegas casinos are going to have live entertainment shows once again, after nearly eight months of pause. Starting November 6, seven shows will return to MGM’s properties, including David Copperfield’s “Live The Impossible” production at the MGM Grand.
Live shows will also make their comeback in Caesars properties. Harrah’s will get its “X Country” topless review back on stage on Thursday, while “ABSINTHE” returns to Caesars Palace a day before. Former America’s Got Talent contestants will also resume their shows in the upcoming days, with “Piff the Magic Dragon” set to have its post-lockdown premiere on Thursday in Flamingo.
Circa Casino & Resort to Open Next Week
Las Vegas is getting its first downtown casino in 40 years. The opening of Circa Casino & Resort is scheduled for next week, most likely on October 28, 2020. According to the casino owners, Circa will launch, coronavirus pandemic or not.
Only one week separates Las Vegas from getting a brand-new casino with 1,350 slot machines and 49 table games. The property will also have a huge sportsbook, the largest in Nevada. It’s also going to have the longest outdoor bar on Freemont Street. If you’d like to learn more about Las Vegas’ new downtown casino, why not give a read to our piece from a few weeks back, which deals with Circa.
Sisolak Warns About “Alarming Trend” in Nevada’s COVID Cases
Even though there are plenty of optimistic stories coming from Las Vegas, caution is advised. The number of COVID-19 cases is going up drastically over the last couple of days.
On Tuesday, Nevada Governor Sisolak expressed his worries that the state is facing an “alarming trend” in new coronavirus infections. As the country is getting into the flu season, Governor is concerned about the pressure that hospitals might be put under in the next period. Sisolak blamed the increase in new cases on “COVID fatigue.”
“We all feel COVID fatigue, and it results in riskier behavior and complacency. We can’t let that happen.”
The surge in new COVID-19 cases coincides with the recent relaxations of social distancing measures in Nevada. Since September, the 50-person cap on big gatherings is no longer active. Instead, the limit is now 250, which was expected to ease the economic pressure the state is facing.
PokerStars VR Adds Slots and Blackjack to Its Game Library
The COVID-19 is not something that worries online gaming sites too much. They’ve seen a major increase in demand for their products. As a result, PokerStars has decided to expand the game offer in its Virtual Reality product.
PokerStars VR is a free online platform, where players can immerse themselves in an authentic poker-playing experience using their VR Goggles. Just as in the real world, the platform allows them to look for telltale signs of their opponents, interact with players, and even handle cards and chips.
The platform went online in 2018, and until recently, the only game it supported was poker. However, starting this week, PokerStars VR will also be offering blackjack and slots.
UK Online Casino Giving Money to the NHS
An online gaming site from the United Kingdom has decided to raise money for the National Health Service (NHS) staff, patients, and volunteers. How they’re planning to do it is by matching 20% of new users’ deposits and donating it to the NHS.
In addition to the 20% NHS contribution, the casino is also giving the players 25 free spins on certain slot games. This might not seem too impressive for offshore casino players, who are used to getting much higher rewards.
Speaking of the devil, earlier this week, several top-rated online casinos have released new promotional offers. Lincoln Casino, for example, is giving away 50 Free Spins on Funky Chicken to its new customers, without asking anything in return. Another no-deposit bonus offer comes from Liberty Slots, where players can grab 50 Free Spins on Super Soccer Slots until November 4.