Category Archives: Las Vegas Casinos

Sahara Las Vegas Says Closure Rumors Unfounded

Sahara Las Vegas and its legal representatives say a rumor we shared about the resort closing later this year is unfounded.

Which is why you won’t find the original article here, because while the story was clearly framed as a rumor, life it too short to talk to lawyers.

How you “retract” a rumor, we aren’t entirely sure, but consider this that. Because we really like drinking and playing video poker at Casbar Lounge.

Sahara to close

We love Sahara’s new Casbar Lounge, and we’re not just saying that to make the lawyers go away.

In case we haven’t said it often enough, we share news on our site, but we also share rumors, speculation, opinions and industry chatter.

We clearly state when rumors are rumors. Rumors don’t always turn out to be true. Often they do. If this one turns out to be true, we trust Sahara will retract its denial and send us an edible bouquet.

Here’s another photo of Sahara’s casino.

Sahara casino closing

We retract our former photo caption where we noted how empty Sahara is.

For posterity, here’s Sahara’s denial of the closure rumor. via its Twitter account.

Sahara closure denial

Trust us, this isn’t the first time we’ve disappointed someone.

It’s never our intention to knowingly share false information, and Sahara is adamant this rumor has no validity. Which would mean we just made the whole thing up, for no reason and based upon no information whatsoever. That’d be weird, but let’s go with it.

We definitely apologize if this rumor caused employees any unnecessary concern. Trust us, they hear rumors long before we do.

This isn’t our first dance with Sahara and it won’t be the last.

Update (8/3/20): We’ve been told Sahara has pulled the plug on its baccarat discount and incentive program.

Update (8/8/20): Apparently, Sahara wasn’t satisfied with removal of our original post and this update/retraction. We’ve been sued by Sahara (Las Vegas Resort Holdings). The news coverage has been extensive, find stories at Channel 3, Channel 5 and the Las Vegas Sun. The story by Channel 13 contains the full complaint. We aren’t going to get into why we believe this legal action was misguided, but here’s what we have said to media outlets: “This was a rumor clearly presented as such. Threatening legal action to try and intimidate and silence writers is so 2001. It doesn’t really fly in 2020. How is the rumor that a struggling casino is struggling even more during a pandemic surprising or controversial?” More to come.

Cromwell Targets October for Reopening

While most of Caesars Entertainment’s resorts in Las Vegas have reopened, Cromwell has remained a mystery.

Today, an internal Caesars Entertainment communication shared the working date for reopening Cromwell is Oct. 3, 2020.

Cromwell

Formerly, Barbary Coast. Never forget.

According to our sources, all Cromwell reservations prior to Oct. 3 will be shuffled to Caesars Palace, just across the street.

The news is interesting given rumors Cromwell is one of the Las Vegas casinos up for sale by new Caesars Entertainment as part of its merger with Eldorado Resorts.

The internal communication also included references to Planet Hollywood, Rio and Linq (currently, its casino is open but the hotel is closed). The memo suggested working dates for these casinos at August 5, 2020, but those dates appear highly unlikely to stick at this point.

On the bright side, Caesars Entertainment did manage to open Bally’s Las Vegas on July 23. Soft demand, especially midweek, made that scenario a risky move, but the classic resort opened, anyway.

Bally's casino chip

We kid because we love. Not you, Grand Bazaar Shops. We love Bally’s.

As with all casino reopening information, there are caveats galore with the Cromwell news.

The landscape continues to shift in Las Vegas due to the COVID-19 crisis, but we’ll take all the good news we can get.

Cromwell is a player-friendly destination, and Vegas isn’t quite the same without all the WTF of Drai’s nightclub and Giada’s popular restaurant, among other offerings.

Cromwell will reportedly be the site for season two of “Love Island,” whatever that might actually be. Pre-production has presumably¬†already started at Cromwell.

Facts.

Thanks to our tipsters, without whom we would just be writing 69 jokes all day, and nobody wants that.

Casino Royale Loses Table Games, Gains Photo Op

It’s a time-honored tradition to hit Casino Royale for craps, but guests will have to set aside that tradition for now.

The fabled Casino Royale continues to be an oddity on The Strip. It’s small. It’s cheap. And it has no resort fees.

Now, Casino Royale also has no table games.

Casino Royale

Thanks for trying to ruin everything, COVID-19.

Big thanks to John M. on Twitter for letting us know about this change at a beloved Strip fixture.

Staffers at Casino Royale say the removal of table games was the result of soft demand given the relatively high cost of labor to run games like craps. Player capacity limits at table games make the profit margin even more marginal.

Some are saying the tables are gone for good, but we hear they’ll be back in time, based upon demand.

In the meantime, the dogs are still priced right.

Casino Royale

We are not going to point out these foot-longs were $1.99 for years.

We have lots of fond memories of hours-long craps sessions at Casino Royale, along with throngs of other enthusiastic dice fans.

Some of the dealers were a tad surly, but that was part of the fun. Many were veterans of the game, with colorful banter, a lot of patience with newbies and an ability to calculate pay-outs even MIT students would envy.

Here’s a fun fact we learned during our visit to Casino Royale! As is the case in a number of Las Vegas casinos, Casino Royale has turned off some of its slot machines due to social distancing.

What we didn’t know is if you turn off a Wheel of Fortune machine, the reels default to three Wheel of Fortune symbols.

Casino Royale

Enough to make your heart stop for a second.

Yep, there are a bunch of machines at Casino Royale that look like somebody just won a progressive jackpot worth millions of dollars.

Casino Royale WoF

If you’re into pranking friends, this is one of the best free photo ops in Vegas.

It’s a strange time in Vegas, and let’s hope changes like the removal of table games at Casino Royale are only temporary.

Masks Now Required at All Caesars Entertainment Casinos

Caesars Entertainment, owner of several Las Vegas resorts, has announced everyone indoors at its casinos will be required to wear masks at all times, except when eating and drinking.

The new policy went into effect on June 24, 2020 at noon.

Caesars mask

We are intrigued by this “except while drinking” loophole.

Here’s a quote from the company’s CEO, Tony Rodio. “We are immediately requiring everyone in our properties to wear masks, because the scientific evidence strongly suggests that wearing masks and practicing social distancing may be the most important deterrents to spreading COVID-19 from person to person.”

According to Caesars Entertainment, anyone who refuses to wear a mask will be shown the door.

The new rule applies to all casinos operated by Caesars Entertainment across the country.

Don’t be surprised if other Las Vegas casinos follow suit, voluntarily or otherwise.

Update (6/25/20): MGM Resorts has followed suit, as expected. The actions of individual casinos is moot now, however. The Governor has mandated masks in all of Nevada whenever people leave their homes.

Circa Announces Opening Dates, First Adults-Only Casino Resort in Vegas History

There’s been a flurry of great news around Circa Las Vegas, so let’s dive in! We’ve got exclusive video, the most in-depth interview ever given by the casino’s owner, Derek Stevens, and more.

Not to make it about us, of course.

First up, Circa has announced its opening dates. Yep, there will be two dates.

The first five floors of Circa Las Vegas open Oct. 28, 2020, months ahead of schedule. The hotel opens Dec. 28, 2020.

Circa Las Vegas

Circa Las Vegas has officially been topped off.

On Oct. 28, the resort’s casino will open, as will its sports book (touted as the biggest in the world), a number of bars and the massive pool complex.

Four restaurants will open on Oct. 28, but 8 East won’t because, as Derek Stevens says, “There will be a crane going through the center of the restaurant.” Learn more about the restaurants at Circa.

As mentioned, Circa’s hotel opens Dec. 28. Reservations will be taken starting June 24, 2020.

Derek Stevens believes this is the first time in Vegas history a resort has been given an exemption so a casino can open separately from a hotel. Current regulations require a casino resort must have 200 rooms to open.

We sat down for an exclusive chat with Derek Stevens to get all the inside scoop about Circa, and there’s a lot.

Circa

Derek Stevens likes casinos so much, he made one from scratch.

Kick back and enjoy all the spilled tea, or whatever the kids are calling it now.

Are you not entertained?

Next up in our cavalcade of Circa news: The resort has announced it will be for adults only.

That’s right, Circa will be for ages 21 and older.

No Kids Quest. No strollers. No kids in the pool. No kids at all, 24/7. Ever.

This is seriously the best news in the history of Las Vegas.

Speaking of history, it’s believed this is the first time a Las Vegas casino resort has been restricted to 21-plus, ever.

Circa rendering

Circa rolled out a bunch of new renderings. Check the photo gallery for more. Sup, Vegas Vickie?

As if all this great news weren’t enough to fill your gullet, there’s more.

On June 19, 2020, Circa Las Vegas had a topping off ceremony. During the ceremony, the last beam ever placed at Circa was hoisted into place.

Circa Las Vegas final beam

Circa owner Derek Stevens was so happy to see this lifted into place. In fact, he was beaming.

We had the awesome privilege of being able to strap a GoPro to the beam, so we captured this momentous occasion for posterity.

It’s epic.

If you watched until the end, you may have noticed the steel worker putting the final beam into place.

Check out the dude’s tattoo! You’ll try to think of something more Vegas than a guy with a Las Vegas sign tattoo securing the final beam on the newest Las Vegas casino, but you will fail.

Circa topped off

Even our haters are, like, “This puts the ‘vital’ in Vital Vegas.”

Prior to the beam being lifted, Derek Stevens and his executive team signed it, along with a number of the construction workers.

Since we’re doing things for posterity, we need to mention what Derek Stevens wrote on the beam. It wasn’t publicized, but we know people.

Stevens wrote the names and initials of his wife Nicole, his parents and brother, Greg Stevens (co-owner of The D and Golden Gate), his three children (Whitney, Sammy and Sera) and the initials of the company’s first employee in Vegas, Wayne Peters.

Derek Stevens

No pressure, Derek.

There are so many stories to be told about Circa.

There’s the story about the ventilation system being used for the first time in any Las Vegas casino: The air flow will be floor to ceiling, a true game-changer.

There’s the story about how COVID-19 actually helped speed up construction because the project didn’t have to be as concerned with noise affecting neighboring hotels (they were closed).

There’s the story about how at one point, elevators at the Circa construction site went from being able to carry 20 people to only being able to carry two per trip.

There’s the story about how important it was to finish and open Circa in 2020 (hint: tax incentives).

There’s the story about why Circa will have a massive video screen facing away from The Strip, rather than toward it. (It’s all about eyeballs on the freeway.)

Circa

This video screen will be seen by one trillion people. Note: We were drinking, so we may have rounded up.

Circa is the first new casino resort in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years, and we look forward to sharing more stories from Circa Las Vegas.

Here are more photos because we know how you are.

Gaming Control Board Requires Table Games Players to Wear Masks

These are surreal times, and here’s more evidence: Nevada’s Gaming Control Board is now mandating guests wear masks at casino table games when there’s no barrier between themselves and dealers.

The move has the stated purpose of “mitigating the spread of COVID-19 between people who are in close contact with each other for at least 15 minutes.”

Las Vegas smizing

This is not a customer customer, but you get the idea.

The mandate came down from the Gaming Control Board on June 17, 2020, and casinos immediately began enforcing the new rule.

The new mask rule applies only to those patrons who are playing table games. Masks are recommended, but not mandatory, for other casino guests.

Casinos are required to provide masks for table games players upon request.

Bellagio Plexiglas dividers

Some of the aforementioned barriers.

Casino employees, including dealers, are already required to wear masks. The new protocol began when Las Vegas casinos reopened after a two-month shutdown on June 4, 2020.

Here’s a look at the notice from the Gaming Control Board.

Table games masks

Gaming should try Comic Sans, just to change this up a little.

The mask requirement “applies to table and card game players, spectators and any other person within six feet of any table or card game.”

Also falling firmly into the “surreal” category, the notice also included this gem: “Musical performances, live entertainment, concerts, competitions, sporting events, and any events with live performances may resume, but shall remain closed for public attendance.”

As with everything that’s happened around the COVID-19 crisis, casino guests seem to be taking these restrictions in stride. It’s created some chaos for casinos, but they understand the need to make their guests feel comfortable and safe.

Everyone understands these changes in Las Vegas casinos are temporary. And the temporarier the better.