I visited the Las Vegas Strip at the same day and time as last week’s trip report to compare the first Friday of operations to the second. The goal was to see what changed over the past week in terms of traffic and gaming. This included a first visit to Linq, which opened that day.
The most noticeable difference was how much busier every casino was. Some were only twice as busy or so. Others casino floors had 10 or more times the patrons as the previous week.
North Las Vegas Strip
The north end of the Las Vegas Strip was quite slow compared to the rest. That is nothing new. However, it is amplified when business conditions are this poor.
I started at Sahara. It still has the only open Blackjack Switch table on the Strip that I have seen. The minimum bet is only $5. Its table selection was limited. I found craps, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, 00 roulette and 6:5 blackjack in the front pit. High limit had $50 stand on all 17 blackjack and baccarat. The Asian table game pit is still closed. There are no immediate plans to reopen it. The Sahara poker room opens on June 18.
I headed over to The Strat. It was substantially busier than last week. It expanded table games to a second pit. This added $5 Heads Up Hold’em and Three Card Prime to the previous craps, blackjack, roulette and baccarat tables.
The next stop was Circus Circus. Nothing had changed there. The table games were still closed. These should reopen around June 26. There is a $5 stadium 00 roulette and 6:5 blackjack. It had a few more customers than last week.
Treasure Island had little going on inside. The table game pit added $10 craps to Three Card Poker and blackjack from before. Both stadium gaming setups were live. The new one does not have a dealer.
I saw no difference at Wynn or Venetian besides a slightly higher minimum bet at some tables. Each was busier than last week but not on any significant level, partly because neither was all that slow last week. The poker room at Venetian was nearly full. It looked normal outside of tables being five-handed.
Central Las Vegas Strip
The central part of the Las Vegas Strip was much busier than last week. The sidewalks looked reasonably normal. Casinos had more energy and players in seats.
Caesars Palace looked much busier to me. The pit above the dome tables opened since my visit last week. The table limits were mostly $15 for the carnival games. The other games remained mostly $25.
Flamingo opened the pit in the back by the sportsbook. Its limits were the same as last week. O’Sheas and Linq opened this same day of my visit. O’Sheas had $15 craps and 6:5 blackjack. Linq had those games as well as $5 High Card Flush, $10 000 roulette and 6:5 Free Bet Blackjack, $15 00 roulette and Pai Gow Poker, $25 3:2 eight-deck blackjack and $50 double deck. There was nothing new at Harrah’s compared to last week beyond it being busier.
By this time, it is around 6pm. I checked out Bellagio. It was the same as last week except for it being a little busier. The fountain show did not have much in the way of viewers, even though the cloudy weather with a nice breeze made it perfect to be outside.
Cosmopolitan was probably the busiest of all the casinos. Based on all the discussion from last week about it being overcrowded and lacking masks, I counted those with a face covering. About 16 percent of Cosmopolitan players wore a mask. That put it in last place of all casinos but was not a big outlier when compared to the average.
South Las Vegas Strip
The last stop was the three open MGM Resorts casinos on the south end of the Strip. This area was busier than the north end. However, it was still much slower than the central part. I noticed some signs that I must have missed during my last trip. This includes no smoking areas. Another asks patrons not to eat on the casino floor.
MGM Grand had the biggest gain during this trip. It was not because it was all that busy. It just went from nearly empty last week to a reasonable level of business. The minimum bet for a 3:2 blackjack game went up to $25 because of it. All other minimum bets were the same.
The next stop was Excalibur. It just opened the day before. It was not very busy. The only roulette was triple zero. All the blackjack was 6:5.
The final stop on yesterday’s journey was New York-New York. I noticed a stadium gaming setup where the party pit used to be. It had 00 roulette, 6:5 blackjack and baccarat. Its high limit salon is still closed. The other tables had the same, normal limits. It was much busier than the previous week at the same time, more so than almost anywhere else, but it still had plenty of room for more guests.