The coronavirus pandemic has hit every business hard. From lower employment numbers to closures, some businesses are struggling to stay afloat. For the casino industry, it is a struggle to find tourists and regular visitors while the pandemic is ongoing. MGM Resorts is a top provider of casino gaming in Las Vegas as well as around the world. Due to the effect of the coronavirus, the company is now considering closing some during the weekdays and rumor has it that three poker rooms are about to shut down permanently.
Weekday Closure Considerations
Every casino as well as hotel owned by MGM Resorts International has reopened. As the largest gaming company in Nevada, the brand has struggled to gain any ground after reopening once the shutdown from March was lifted in June. According to Bill Hornbuckle, the CEO of MGM, some towers of the MGM resorts may close starting in mid-November due to a decrease in tourism.
The closings would be during the mid-week, as these are considered slow times for the venues. Wynn Las Vegas already decided to shut down its Encore property in Vegas for hotel bookings to cut back on operations. They also shut down restaurants during certain time frames.
Major Poker Shutdown
Along with the weekday considerations, it is rumored that MGM is going to shut their poker rooms for good at The Mirage, the Mandalay Bay and Excalibur. The poker rooms have been inoperable since March due to the pandemic. At the time, officials said the closures were temporary.
However, now it seems the situation has been reevaluated and the poker rooms may never reopen. It seems MGM feels the properties would be served better by not providing poker services. While this is sad news there is a bit of good news mixed in. There is a bad beat jackpot worth six figures that needs to be distributed to players.
MGM reportedly plans to do this by providing a series of freerolls to players. According to information reported by CardsChat, the MGM Grand will host the freerolls for the distribution of the jackpot funds. The first was scheduled for November 3 and was sold out quickly. The next will take place on November 17 and will start registration on November 11. This event will feature $69,804 in prize money from the Mirage.
On December 1, the MGM Grand will host the freeroll with registration starting on November 25. The total amount up for grabs in this event is $27,837 which is from the bad beat of the Excalibur. The total prize money up for grabs during the freeroll series is $121,663.
No official word has been provided as to if the poker rooms are closing permanently. With the freerolls taking place regarding the bad beat jackpot funds, it seems as though the poker rooms will at least remain closed for quite some time and possibly never reopen, at least not for a very long time. We will keep watch for any updates from MGM to see if an announcement is made regarding the poker rooms.