For many years, poker was one of the favorite games of many Las Vegas residents and visitors and the kind of game that generated traffics in casinos. The traffic was always used by the casinos to get some of the players into the pit, while professional rounders would use it to make good on random tourists and businessmen at the poker tables.
However, there has been a drop in popularity of poker in the live casinos on the Las Vegas strip and around the state of Nevada. Seven popular poker rooms have shut their doors to players over the last few years and the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino was the latest to join the trend.
The revenues from poker cash games have pretty much stagnated over the last couple of years, but some of the casinos seem to take stagnation as a bad sign and are looking to expand into bigger and better things.
MGM Renovations Scraping Poker
MGM is investing $450 Million into the renovations of the Monte Carlo Casino and Resort which are going to include two additional hotels as well as a new park and several other features. All of this comes at quite a price and not just monetary.
The casino’s poker room is one of the parts of the casino that will be scraped to make room for other new things. This is the seventh poker room to be scraped in just a few years on the strip and it is likely that some of the neighboring casinos’ poker rooms will benefit from it.
Still, it is interesting to see that the casinos on the strip are removing poker rooms from their offer in so many instances when the revenues from poker cash games have pretty much remained the same over the last couple of years.
Stagnating Trends Not Good Enough
Cash game poker has brought in about $118.000.000 in revenues to Las Vegas casinos over the last years, which is a number very similar to those of 2014 and 2015. The numbers in big poker tournaments have also remained pretty stagnant, suggesting that poker is healthy and the market is steady.
Still, some experts seem not to agree with this as more and more casinos are removing poker from their offering. Another possibility is that the casinos simply don’t see the value in poker as the rake from it is much lower than what they are making in the pit games.
The confusing thing is that poker was always a great facilitator of other games and casino action in general, so it remains to be seen how other Las Vegas casinos will approach poker in the future and whether the game is dying out or the market was simply oversaturated and needed some cleaning.
Popular casinos such as the Aria and Bellagio still operate fully fledged poker rooms with dozens of tables, daily tournaments and more than enough action if you plan on visiting Las Vegas in the near future.