In the casino news this week, New York casinos and racinos are back in business, WSOP breaks online poker records, and the crowd goes crazy on the streets of Las Vegas.
Let’s start with some good news – the US seems to be winning the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. The curve is getting flattened, allowing state governors from all over the country to loosen up on their anti-coronavirus measures. That’s exactly what happened in the state of New York, where commercial casinos and racinos are back in business starting Wednesday, September 9.
Another good news comes from the world of online poker, where the 2020 WSOP keeps breaking all sorts of records. With $27,559,500 in prizes, the tournament is now the record-holder for the biggest prize pool in history. It’s also set the record for the highest number of entries in a single WSOP event, with 44,576 entries.
Registration is CLOSED in the @WSOP $5,000 Main Event!
Prize pool: $27,559,500 (new online poker record!)
Places paid: 728
Day 2 at 1430 ET /KM
— GGPoker – HOME OF ONLINE POKER'S LARGEST PRIZEPOOL (@GGPokerOfficial) August 30, 2020
Then there is some not-so-bright news coming from Las Vegas, where police had to work extra hard over the Labor Day weekend to stop numerous fights that had broken out on the Strip. In order not to finish the intro on a grim note, here’s one good news from Nevada – a lucky slot player won $168,854 on $1 spin at Treasure Island last Tuesday.
New York Casinos and Racinos are Back!
With Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approval, casinos and racinos in New York can get back to business. As discussed in the last week’s casino news recap, those gambling establishments will have to adhere to some new rules in order to operate. For example, the maximum number of patrons must not go over one-quarter of the casino capacity.
Furthermore, casinos had to install improved air-conditioning systems and make other modifications on game floors before reopening. Although it took them time to tick all those boxes, all four commercial casinos within the NY state borders were ready to reopen on September 9. Those establishments are, namely:
- World Catskills Resort in Monticello
- Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady
- Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino in Islandia
- Del Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre
The same was not the case with NY racinos. MGM Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, for example, will remain closed for another ten days.
MGM Empire City Casino Remains Closed Until September 21
In addition to four commercial casinos, the state of New York is also the home to eight racinos, that is, casino establishments located at racetracks. Seven of those have reopened on Wednesday, with the MGM-owned Empire City Casino postponing the reopening date to September 21.
When the racino reopens, visitors will be able to play slots, as well as automated blackjack, craps, and roulette. The racing track, however, will remain closed to visitors for the time being.
New York Tribal Casinos Open Since June
Governor Cuomo’s decision to allow New York casinos to go back to business only applies to commercial casinos and racinos. Tribal casinos, however, operate under their own rules. This is the reason why some of them have been open since June, even though the state was still under the COVID-19 lockdown at the time.
Record-Breaking WSOP Online Concludes on Tuesday
The COVID-19 pandemic caused serious problems for land-based casinos all across the United States. As mentioned, New York casinos stayed closed from March 16 until September 9. During that period many casino fans turned their attention to online gambling sites. The result is that the online gambling industry has been blooming in 2020.
Evidence of that is that the recently-concluded WSOP online tournament has broken several records, including the one for the largest-ever prize pool in online poker – $27,559,500.
The tournament saw a total of 856 bracelet events over the course of more than two months, concluding with September 8. WSOP.com hosted 31 of those events, allowing only players from Las Vegas and New Jersey to take part.
The other 54 events were played over the GGPoker platform, which let players from all corners of the world to participate. As a result, the 2020 WSOP broke the record for the largest number of entries, with 44,576 people involved.
Chaos in Vegas Over the Labor Day Weekend
Labor Day weekend is behind us and there are plenty of crazy stories to talk about. One of the craziest stories comes from Las Vegas, where the police had to intervene in numerous violent incidents along the Strip.
Yep… fights even inside the Casinos too! Nothing but class coming into the new Las Vegas. pic.twitter.com/MWgTIrlmRm
— NetworkinVegas.com (@Networkinvegas) September 8, 2020
On Friday alone, Las Vegas police had to make 28 arrests in the Downtown Area Command, while also making 27 citations in relation to violent incidents. A similar trend followed over the next two days, before finally settling down with the start of the new week.
The cause of all the chaos on Vegas streets seems to be a drastic increase in the number of visitors. According to some, however, the problem is not in the quantity but in the quality.
Greg Mullen of CDC Consulting is one of those who believe that the coronavirus pandemic has made “the wrong sort of person” come to Vegas. With the pandemic putting a lock over Nevada for the most part of the year, most Las Vegas hotels have reduced the room prices.
Apart from causing violence, the rapid increase in the number of visitors has also jeopardized the epidemiological situation in the city, according to Mullen. His company, CDC Consulting reported various inflictions of the anti-COVID-19 measures, including overcrowded elevators, lack of temperature checks, too many gamblers at craps tables, and so on.
Lucky Arizona Woman Wins $168,854 on Vegas Slots
It’s not all doom and gloom that’s happening over in Vegas, as evident from this story – Sherry W. from Bullhead City, Arizona won $168,854 on Thursday morning at Treasure Island Casino.
We interrupt our usual Winner Wednesday announcement for this GIANT JACKPOT! Sherry W. hit $168,854 this morning and we couldn't be more excited for her! Congrats Sherry!!! #TIVegasWinner https://t.co/0cVd8318cK pic.twitter.com/VowOsvFmJK
— Treasure Island (@TIvegas) September 10, 2020
Not the biggest win ever, sure, but this lady hit the jackpot on a $1 bet. The game that brought her this fortune was the slot called Big Monte Spin & Win.
Speaking of slot machines, these remain the most popular type of games both in land-based casinos and their online counterparts. If you too consider yourself a slot fan, you can play some of those games for free by taking advantage of no deposit bonuses.
Top Online Casinos Giving Away Free Spins
Over the last couple of days, online casinos have been very busy with their promotional offers. In addition to welcome bonuses, certain casinos have put other deals on the table. Some of those deals include free spins on popular online slot games.
For example, Miami Club is giving away 50 free spins on the slot game called Super Soccer. The same casino is also rewarding its players with free spins on King Tiger, Mystic Gems, and other slots.
Over at Lincoln Casino, the Vampire Vixen slot is the game players can play for free after entering the bonus code. There’s a similar kind of deal available at Liberty Slots Casino, where 50 free spins on Black Magic slot await those who have the right promo code.
For more info on bonus codes and special offers available this week, feel free to browse MobileCasinoParty.