This week’s gambling news includes the announcement from Caesars of Bally’s Leaving Vegas and both the Tropicana Casino and Mirage Casino are set to follow them out the door! And what about the recently sold Palazzo and Venetian Casinos? Plus, the end of the Las Vegas face mask mandate, hopefully for the last time.
Hello friends! I hope you all enjoyed your Super Bowl weekend! And congratulations to the Los Angeles Rams on their victory! The times they are a-changing in Las Vegas as old familiar faces on the Strip are set to be gone! Bally’s Leaving Vegas is certain, and the Tropicana, the Mirage, and maybe even the Venetian and Palazzo could follow! But this week’s big story is actually about old familiar faces returning to the Las Vegas Strip! Namely yours! As the governor of Nevada has dropped the mandatory face mask requirements for indoor establishments in his state, including casinos!
The final decision about face masks in casinos is actually up to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, not the Governor. However, in this particular case the board has to support the Governor’s decision to drop the Vegas face mask mandate. But the board also said that any local jurisdiction within the state, like cities and counties, is still free to set their own face mask requirements. And let’s not forget that casinos are private property, so the owners or management could still require you to mask up while you’re there. Now, whether or not you patronize that property is entirely your decision.
Now with all this talk about casinos leaving Las Vegas, some of you may be wondering is Bally’s leaving Vegas real? And the answer is yes! Bally’s Casino is actually leaving Las Vegas… probably. Or definitely. Sort of. It’s kind of… but maybe forever. And maybe not. It’s a bit convoluted. And like any good long-term relationship, it’s complicated. You may recall that Caesar sold the Bally’s brand back in 2020. And now they are completely redesigning the casino and changing the name from Bally’s to the Horseshoe Las Vegas! Of course, poker players will immediately recognize the historic significance of the Horseshoe brand, and this move comes as Caesars is bringing the World Series of Poker back to the Las Vegas Strip this summer, to be played at the legendary Horseshoe!
And what about the Tropicana? Well the same group that purchased the Bally’s brand from Caesars also purchased the Tropicana. And they say that at a minimum… at a minimum… they’re going to re-brand the casino, possibly as Bally’s! And wouldn’t that be weird?! Of course, they are also considering just demolishing the whole damn thing and building a whole new casino on the site. Which would be awesome, except of course for having to relocate the large population of rats that now call the Tropicana home.
Plus, you may have heard that the Mirage Casino was sold to the Hard Rock just before Christmas. And yes, the plan is to rebrand that property as the Hard Rock and put up that great big guitar logo of theirs right smack in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip! And let’s not forget that the Sands Corporation sold both the Venetian and the Palazzo to investment companies just last year. A sale that was finally approved just the other day by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. However, at this time there are no rumors of any plans to tear anything down or rename any casinos.
So yes, Bally’s Leaving Vegas is a done deal. And a lot of new faces are headed for the Vegas Strip… maybe even yours! And if all the new casino names have you confused, just remember: Now I have to go back to Las Vegas and film all these new properties! The struggles I must endure for this job! This week I also have another new video to share with you, as I was both happy and humbled to be interviewed by YouTube creator Simon Cleath for his It’s a Slot Machine channel. I shared some of my opinions about land-based and online gambling, and the future of our industry, based on my 20 plus years in this business. You can find that video on our YouTube channel.