Caesars Palace Shuffles Deck, Deals in Slots for Poker Room Revamp

In a move that reflects the changing landscape of Las Vegas gaming, Caesars Palace announced the temporary closure of its poker room to make way for an expanded high-limit slots area. The iconic casino, part of Caesars Entertainment, will relocate its 18-table poker room for an estimated 60-90 day period beginning around July 17th. This decision comes amidst ongoing renovations at the property.

While the poker room closure is positioned as temporary, it underscores a wider trend within the casino industry. Slot machines have consistently proven to be more profitable for casinos than table games, particularly poker. With a smaller footprint and higher margins, slots offer a more attractive proposition for casinos looking to maximize revenue. This is especially true in a market like Las Vegas, which caters to a growing number of casual gamblers seeking fast-paced, easy-to-learn entertainment options.

The move is likely to disappoint poker enthusiasts, particularly those who frequent Caesars Palace for its tournaments and cash games. However, Caesars Entertainment, which also owns the World Series of Poker (WSOP) brand, has downplayed concerns about a permanent closure. Caesars Palace still offers poker at its sister property, Bally's Las Vegas, which is currently undergoing a rebranding process to become Horseshoe Las Vegas. Whether Bally's will absorb the displaced Caesars Palace poker scene in the long run remains to be seen.

The decision to prioritize slots over poker reflects a strategic shift within the Caesars Entertainment portfolio. While the company remains a major player in the poker world through its ownership of the WSOP, its focus appears to be on streamlining its brick-and-mortar poker operations. This comes at a time when online poker is experiencing a resurgence, particularly in the wake of pandemic-related lockdowns.

For poker aficionados in Las Vegas, the Caesars Palace closure represents a blow to a community that has long thrived on the bustling energy of live games. However, it also serves as a reminder of the evolving nature of the casino industry. As casinos cater to new demographics and player preferences, the future of poker may lie increasingly in the digital realm.

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