Over 20 Las Vegas Poker Rooms Have Closed Since 2012
The Las Vegas poker market is in decline. There have been 21 poker room closures since the beginning of 2012. Some were located at major resorts, while others were small rooms in casinos that cater to locals.
In addition to the 21 poker rooms lost in Las Vegas since 2012, Monte Carlo will close its poker room in April 2017. There have also been substantial decreases in tables at Venetian, MGM Grand and Mirage to reflect the current demand for poker in Las Vegas.
Only one Las Vegas poker room that opened after 2012 is still active. That is at Skyline Casino on Boulder Highway. The poker room launched in 2014 with just one table and expanded to two in 2016. The Skyline Casino’s poker room specializes in 2/4 Fixed Limit Hold’em. The room is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
Below is a list of the 21 poker rooms that closed since 2012. Most of the closures were related to there not being enough demand to support the amenity. Contrary to popular belief, slots did not always take over the space abandoned by the shuttered poker room.
Hard Rock Casino – March 2017
Hard Rock Casino closed its three-table poker room this week. The poker room struggled during its entire existence. Its main game was a 1/3 No Limit Texas Hold’em game with no buy-in cap.
The Linq – August 2016
The Linq poker room closed in August 2016. This was the second attempt at a poker room after the conversion from The Quad to The Linq. The poker room previously closed in January 2015. The main game at The Linq’s poker room was .50/$1 No Limit Hold’em. It would occasionally spread a Pot Limit Omaha with the same blinds or a mixed game. The former poker room area is now used as a lounge area.
Eastside Cannery – April 2016
Eastside Cannery closed its four-table Boulder Highway poker room in April 2016. The poker room specialized in 2-6 Spread Limit Hold’em. It offered a Wednesday Omaha Hi/Lo tournament and No Limit Hold’em ones on weekends. The poker room was replaced by video table games that include blackjack, craps and roulette.
Plaza – March 2016
Plaza closed its poker room in March 2016. It used electronic PokerPro machines. The room opened in 2013 with three PokerPro tables. It proved so popular that it expanded to five games. Most of the action was in small tournaments with buy-ins of $11 and below.
Multimedia Games, the parent company of PokerPro, sold the rights to the product to Jackpot Digital. The acquiring company decided not to get a Nevada gaming license. The PokerPro machines were removed from Plaza a few months after the deal closed. The area is now used as the new home for high limit slots.
Aliante Casino – March 2016
Aliante Casino also used PokerPro tables. It installed three of these games in 2014 but was forced to wait nearly one year to get the approval to open the devices for real money. The action consisted mostly of low buy-in tournaments and cash games. Aliante Casino was forced to remove its PokerPro machines for the same reason Plaza did. The electronic poker room at Aliante Casino closed in March 2016. The area now hosts live table games.
Aliante Casino once offered a live poker room. It closed in November 2012.
Westgate – June 2015
A poker room opened on the property now known as Westgate in July 2013. The resort was called as LVH at the time. The poker room’s three tables spread mostly 1/3 No Limit Hold’em. It would hold tournaments on special weekends. It also attempted to spread a 5/10 Seven Card Stud game in its early days that was not sustainable.
LVH was acquired by Westgate in July 2014. Paragon Gaming took over management of the resort’s gaming on June 1, 2015. Paragon quickly shuttered the poker room. The company did the same when it took over gaming operations at Riviera. The former Westgate poker room area was replaced with slots.
Hooters – March 2015
Hooters offered a two-table poker room. Its only game was 1/2 No Limit Hold’em. Hooters folded its poker room in March 2015. It was replaced with a rewards center that includes a slot tournament area.
Texas Station – August 2014
Texas Station is a locals joint in North Las Vegas. The casino closed its poker room in August 2014. Most of the action was low limit that included 3/6 Fixed Limit and small spread limit games. There was also an occasional Omaha Hi/Lo game. Texas Station did nothing with the former poker room area. It is still walled off more than two years after the closure. Most of the action moved to Santa Fe Station.
Sunset Station – May 2015
Sunset Station is a locals casino in Henderson. The poker room there closed in May 2015. Most of the action was 2/4 Fixed Limit Hold’em with 1/2 No Limit Hold’em on weekends. The poker room at Sunset Station struggled to get more than a game or two off the ground. Most of the action moved to nearby Green Valley Ranch.
Palms – June 2014
The Palms was the first attempt by CG Technologies to operate a poker room. It did not go as planned. The poker room opened eight tables in one of the best settings in Las Vegas. It was embedded in the Palms sportsbook that was remodeled by CG Technologies. This was much better than the former location in the area now used for the players club. This was not enough to attract players. The room struggled to draw more than one table of action. It spread mostly 1/3 No Limit Hold’em at first but dropped that to 1/2 in 2013. There was also an occasional 2-6 Spread Limit Hold’em.
The poker room got aggressive with its promotions near the end of its life. Rake was dropped from $4 to $1. The jackpot drop went from $1 to $4. Promotions included $25 half-hour high hands, cracked aces, bonuses for hands four of a kind and higher and splash pots. The promotional pool did not keep up with the prizes given away. The poker room ended promotions and went to a flat $3 rake but this did not draw players either. CG Technologies closed the Palms poker room in June 2014. The area is now used for VIP sportsbook seating.
El Cortez – December 2013
El Cortez had a poker room that regularly featured its legendary former owner, Jackie Gaughan, at the tables. Gaughan lived in a penthouse on the property. The three-table poker room spread mostly 2-6 Spread Limit Hold’em. There was a Saturday morning 1-4 Seven Card Stud game. As Gaughan’s health declined, he stopped visiting the poker room. It closed in December 2013. Gaughan passed away in March 2014.
Circus Circus – September 2013
Circus Circus offered a 3/6 Fixed Limit Hold’em game that was frequented by former Stardust players. There was also a 1/2 No Limit Hold’em game during peak hours. The only tournaments spread in its later days pertained to promotions to reward loyal poker players. The room was shuttered in September 2013. The players club was moved there.
M Resort – August 2013
M Resort had a luxurious 14-table poker room. It was once extremely popular but ran into management issues. The core player group moved to nearby South Point. Most of the games were small fixed limit ones and 1/2 No Limit Hold’em. A slot tournament area is now in the former poker room location.
Riviera – June 2013
Riviera closed in May 2015. The poker room did not make it to the end. It shuttered in June 2013. Riviera struggled to draw poker players through much of its existence. The six-table room was often idle. It moved throughout the casino in its final years.
The typical game at Riviera was 1/2 or 1/3 No Limit Hold’em. There were occasional limit or mixed games. Riviera’s poker room started taking a second jackpot dollar to fund more promotions. This did not go over well with players. Paragon Gaming took over management of Riviera in June 2013 and quickly shuttered the struggling poker room. Paragon did the same thing when it started managing Westgate.
Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall – February 2013
Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall closed in February 2013 to make room for The Cromwell. The poker room closed in January 2013. The Cromwell does not offer a poker room.
Jokers Wild – October 2012
Jokers Wild is a locals joint on Boulder Highway. The casino spread .50/1 No Limit Hold’em and low buy-in tournaments. The poker room closed in October 2012. Slot machines replaced the former poker room.
Ellis Island – September 2012
Ellis Island attempted to enter the Las Vegas poker market in July 2012. It was unsuccessful. The room rarely saw a game. It was dark for most of its existence. The two poker tables were removed in September 2012 and replaced with slots.
Tropicana – September 2012
Tropicana had the misfortune of opening its poker room on online poker’s Black Friday, April 15, 2011. That is when the three largest U.S. online poker sites were indicted by the U.S. Justice Department.
Tropicana’s poker room struggled from its first day. It came up with a promotion that paid loyal players an hourly rate to attract more action. This was funded with a $2 and later $3 jackpot drop. This created a $7 rake on those that did not play enough to participate in the promotions. Tropicana also spread some mixed games and razz early in its days. Tropicana gave up on poker in September 2012. The area is now used for slot tournaments.
O’Sheas – April 2012
O’Sheas was once a standalone casino on the property now utilized by The Linq. It offered three cash game tables near the Strip entrance and a tournament area towards the rear of the casino. The poker room offered spread and no limit games.
O’Sheas shuttered in April 30, 2012 to make room for the remodeling of the property. O’Sheas opened as a bar connected to The Linq, known as The Quad at the time, but did not include a poker room. The Linq’s second attempt at a poker room was in the same general area as the former O’Sheas room. That room folded in August 2016.
Fitzgeralds – January 2012
Fitzgeralds was located in downtown Las Vegas. It was acquired by brothers Derek and Greg Stevens in October 2011. The poker room was shuttered in January 2012 during the property’s transition into The D. There was little action in the room at the time. Many nights were completely dark. The poker room was on the second floor. It is now home to slots and part of the sportsbook.
Silverton – January 2012
Silverton shuttered its poker room in January 2012. It was home to a 3/6 Fixed Limit Hold’em game and a weekend 1/2 No Limit Hold’em one. CG Technologies reportedly considered reopening the room shortly after it launched poker at Palms. That never happened. The area is now used as for slot tournaments.