With the openings of Aria and Mandalay Bay last week, the majority of the Strip casinos are now operating. With OYO, formerly Hooters, scheduled to open next week, the only casinos still closed on or near the Strip are Mirage, Park MGM, Bally’s, The Cromwell, Planet Hollywood, Tropicana, Rio and the Palms. That leaves fewer than 10 non-Strip casinos throughout the entire Las Vegas valley that are also yet to open. On the negative side, it’s been announced that two of those still closed — Texas Station and Fiesta Rancho, both located on the far northwest side of town — will not reopen until 2021.
Masks mandated: Last week it was a mandate for table-games players only. This week it’s everyone. Masks are now required throughout Nevada “in all indoor public spaces and in outdoor spaces where people might congregate and where social distancing of at least six feet is not possible.” Exemptions include children under 10, anyone with a medical condition or disability that makes mask-wearing hazardous, and people eating and drinking at restaurants and bars.
Second buffet: A second buffet has opened. The Cosmopolitan’s Wicked Spoon buffet is serving brunch Friday through Sunday for $36. Unlike Wynn Las Vegas’ “serviced” approach (food ordered and delivered to your table), at the Cosmopolitan you walk up to the individual food islands and servers hand you your selections. The Wicked Spoon has always employed a small-plates format, where the portions are already determined, so the experience feels relatively familiar.
Question: Has there been any change in the level of gambling minimums since the casinos reopened?
Answer: It’s too early to say conclusively, but early indications are that the minimums on table games are somewhat higher. That is, casinos that have featured $5 minimums have gone to $10, or at least have fewer options at the lower end. Machine players won’t notice a difference, as most machines have toggles to choose play levels and that hasn’t changed.
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