The main headlines this week have been about the who, where, when and how of the US casino industry re-opening, with Nevada looking at June 4th and New Jersey yet to set a date, while California seems to be leading the back-to-the-tables charge.

By: Andrew Burnett

The World Series of Poker would be underway already had the coronavirus pandemic not halted almost every big event globally, but this week saw Nevada’s Governor Steve Sisolak include casinos in a proposed June 4th ‘Phase 2’ of the planned ‘Roadmap to Recovery’.

Las Vegas casinos set to partially re-open

It isn’t quite as simple as it sounds – any upward trend in COVID-19 infections still likely to affect that re-opening date – but many of the big players in Vegas are already submitting detailed plans.

Caesars Palace and the Flamingo are already set to go, though with serious social distancing, hygiene and other anti-virus elements in place.

The Bellagio and New York-New York, both MGM-owned, are also on the list, but Wynn Resorts are said to be leaving poker out of their initial re-opening plans for their strip properties, the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Las Vegas.

Californian tribal casinos re-open

Meanwhile, in near-neighbour California, Governor Gavin Newsom appears to be fighting a losing battle to keep federally-ruled tribal casinos on the same track as the state-regulated versions.

“I understand that some tribal governments are planning on reopening casinos on their lands,” Newsom wrote to tribal leaders this week, after news that several planned to re-open this weekend.

Newsom added: “This deeply concerns me, and I urge tribal governments to reconsider and instead make those determinations based on how they align with the current local public health conditions and the statewide stage of reopening.”

New Jersey cardrooms still closed for business

New Jersey saw Governor Phil Murphy describe gaming operations as “a huge game-changer in our economy and in the lives of literally tens of thousands of people out there.”

Murphy told reporters this week: “Casinos are a tough nut. It’s incredibly important, but it’s one we’ve got to get right,” adding: “I would love nothing more to say we’re ready to go. We’re just not there yet.”

Italian sportsbetting hit by massive revenue crash

In other industry news, sportsbetting revenues in Italy “plummeted” more than 50% between March and April according to EGRGlobal Intel.

Already weakened March revenues of €45.6m fell to €19.4m for April, down 57%复古传奇sf across the nation’s 18 biggest betting companies as global sporting were axed due to COVID-19 worries.

BestPoker and Optibet to join iPoker

In the recent game of online gaming company ‘musical chairs’, Swedish firm Enlabs revealed this week they will be moving from GGPoker to iPoker复古传奇sf this summer.

That means their international pokeroom Bestpoker, and the new Latvian and Estonian Optibet online cardrooms, will have a new home on Playtech’s B2B network, which has recently taken many of MPN’s ‘homeless’ poker skins复古传奇sf after the recent Microgaming closure.

Enlabs’ Head of Poker Maksims Gorbacs, explained the positives of the move: “With iPoker we can offer modern poker experience for all kinds of players. We are confident that iPoker’s liquidity and innovative features will allow our customers to enjoy an even better poker experience.”


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