Featured in this article:
  • Vegas Room Rates Experience Huge Growth During March Madness
  • Some Popular Nevada Casinos Mark 1-Year of Closures
  • Atlantic City Revenue Sees Drop

This week’s casino news starts us off in Las Vegas where The Strip has been revived. The easing of COVID-19 safety measures and the start of March Madness has brought tourists back in droves — Keep reading for our weekly rundown of the latest casino news, and get up-to-speed.

Vegas Room Rates Skyrocket For March Madness

The Las Vegas Strip was looking for a shot in the arm and they got it. One of the few places that’s open that people want to travel too, Las Vegas is seeing a boom during March Madness. The college basketball tournament has attracted huge crowds to the point that room rates have skyrocketed. Pricing had been dormant for quite some time as it was easy to find rooms under $100.

The weekend of Selection Sunday, the rooms at the Cosmopolitan jumped up to about $325 and this past week – during the first couple of rounds – rooms were starting at $650. At nearby Aria, rooms jumped from about $200 to $350.

Safety concerns aside, a lot of people were happy to see Las Vegas with some life back.

las vegas nevada drone shot at night

A Few Nevada Casinos Are Still Closed

Many people saw the scenes from the Las Vegas Strip during March Madness this past week and got the impression that things are back to normal, but that’s not fully the case in the Silver State. There are still a whopping 13 casinos in the state of Nevada that have remained closed for an entire year now due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Las Vegas, there are two Boyd Gaming Corp. properties that will stay closed (Main Street Station and Eastside Cannery) as they simply chose not to reopen throughout the year. Their plan was to stay closed until things are safer.

David Strow, a spokesman for Boyd Gaming, mentioned that the consumer demand will determine whether or not their casinos will begin to reopen. At least there is some optimism that they can return sometime soon unlike Harrah’s Reno and the Lakeside Inn and Casino, both of them have closed down permanently in Northern Nevada.

Harrah’s had been going strong for 83 long years before officially closing on March 17. Meanwhile, Lakeside was open for 35 years before getting closed for good itself. The lack of business and tourism crushed the business model and they decided to wrap things up rather than deal with the financial pain.

Atlantic City Casino Revenue Sees Decline

As has been the new normal this past year, Atlantic City casinos struggled to obtain the same level of revenue that they were able to a year ago. Their nine brick and mortar casinos were able to reel in $148.2 million from slots and table games in February but it was still a 32 percent drop compared to February of 2020. That month happened to be the very last month that casinos operated normally before closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Luckily for Atlantic City, that 32 percent drop was picked up in a different area. Their online slots and table games had brought in $93.8 million which went down as an 80 percent increase compared to that same February.

Restrictions on the majority of casinos are slowly starting to ease up with them operating at higher capacities than they have been in recent months. There are definitely concerns over easing up those restrictions and some are worried about a third wave, which could lead to more shutdowns. We will just have to wait and see how things go before expecting everything to return to normal.

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Veronica Taylor

Veronica Taylor is a card game enthusiast who you can find checking out the latest themed online casino games or sports betting trends. When she’s not writing about what’s new in the gambling world and industry (both online and on land), you can find her watching the NBA and looking up assorted player facts. (Did you know Lebron snacks on apples and almond butter everyday?)

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