Las Vegas casinos largely cater to an adult audience as the legal gambling and drinking age in most US states is 21, however, those under 21 can go to casinos, hotels, and resorts — but now two casinos on the Strip are making a bold move.

Fremont Street casino Circa opened in October 2020 as a 21-and-over casino, with patrons needing to

Circa Casino Las Vegas
The Stadium Swim at the Circa Resort & Casino, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

be 21 and over to use the hotel, restaurants, or casino. Now, El Cortez casino has announced they will follow suit and only accept those 21 and over. The move comes after a major $25 million renovation.

This move will make sense to many, as Fremont St has a decidedly adult atmosphere, with alcohol, gambling, and risqué clothing and performances not just happening inside, but on the strip itself.

El Cortez Rolls Out Two-Phase Plan

“It’s one of the easier decisions we made here…The last thing we want to do is limit anybody from coming to the property, but El Cortez is like a gambling mecca withing a gambling mecca that has built its entire business off liberal slots and liberal table games—a great gamble,” says Adam Wiesberg, El Cortez General Manager, according to CDC Gaming Reports.

The casino will roll out changes in two phases, with guests booked from April needing valid, state-issued I.D. The second phase will see I.D. checks at each external entrance.

Downside to 21+ Rule

What’s the downside to an age limit at Vegas casinos? El Cortez typically offers a great price on hotel rooms, and this is particularly attractive for families staying in the area.

For El Cortez, losing out on potential wedding bookings is a potential downside of the policy, but their casino caters to traditional Vegas activities, so losing out on significant business from families is unlikely.

“I think it will appeal to the true Vegas connoisseur and appeal to the groups coming here to have a great time—a traditional Vegas trip. The net effect will be positive for the bottom line,” says Wiesberg.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virginia and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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