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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Casino City’s Friday Five: Masks off in Las Vegas edition

21 May 2021

By Dan Ippolito
Las Vegas has begun moving several resorts and casinos to 100% capacity along with getting rid of the mask and social distancing guidelines. Is Sin City finally returning to its normal self? Before we dive into that, we have some other news to cover this week. The city of Richmond in Virginia chose Urban One to build a casino, LeoVegas is ready for its U.S. launch, Intertops is hosting poker tournaments this week, and Sporttrade makes history in New Jersey.

Let’s begin with some poker action:

5. Triple 9 poker tournaments at Intertops Poker
Through 27 May, Intertops Poker is hosting nine poker tournaments, each with a $999 prize pool. Buy-in is $29, there are nine-minute blinds, players start with 999 chips and the maximum re-entries is, of course, nine.

To get a seat at the table for any or all of the nine tournaments, players should go to the Tournament Lobby in either the download version of the poker client or the instant play poker app.

4. LeoVegas announces the launch in the US
LeoVegas has entered into an agreement to launch the LeoVegas brand in New Jersey. New Jersey will mark the company’s first establishment in the U.S. The company expects to be able to accept its first U.S. customers during the first half of 2022.

LeoVegas will use its proprietary technical platform, Rhino, for its establishment in the U.S. As part of the process of launching LeoVegas in the U.S., the company’s platform will be certified by the regulatory authorities in New Jersey.

“We are proud to finally be able to share our plans to establish ourselves in the USA. We think the time and partner are right to launch ‘The King of Casino’ in the USA,” said Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO LeoVegas.

3. Sporttrade brings first sports betting exchange app to New Jersey
Sporttrade, a Philadelphia-based sports betting platform, launched on Tuesday, allowing players to trade sporting events like they trade stocks.

"Our mission is to elevate the sports betting industry, and truly provide an all-inclusive platform designed for the customer," said Alex Kane, Founder and CEO of Sporttrade.

As a sports betting exchange, Sporttrade says it will “ensure a stable and open betting marketplace” and “offer a fair and transparent environment.”

2. Urban One chosen to build Richmond casino
The city’s Resort Casino Evaluation Panel has recommended that the ONE Casino + Resort move forward as the city’s preferred casino gaming operator at the proposed site on Walmsley Boulevard in South Richmond.

The Evaluation Panel made its recommendation based on factors including the project’s feasibility and sustainability, proposed location, economic development impact, financial revenue impact, and community benefits.

“ONE Casino + Resort presents a tremendous opportunity to develop a resort casino project in Richmond,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “The project will create over 1,000 good paying jobs, generate a significant amount of new revenue for the city, and establish an additional economic engine in South Richmond.”

Mayor Stoney will introduce the proposed ONE Casino + Resort project to City Council on Monday, 24 May. Per legislation approved by the Virginia General Assembly, City Council will be asked to petition the court so that a referendum on casino gaming in the City of Richmond can take place during the 2 November election.

1. Las Vegas reopening: No masks and no social distancing
So many casinos are opening at full capacity, from Las Vegas to Atlantic City. And many casinos can now drop the social distancing and face mask requirements.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, along with Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Resort, were the first to get to 100% occupancy for their casino floors. Now, several more casinos have joined them. Last week, word came down that The STRAT Hotel, Casino and SkyPod had received permission from the Nevada Gaming Control Board to fully open. Now comes word that many more Las Vegas casinos will be joining them.

Caesars Entertainment announced that all of their properties around Sin City were operating with no occupancy or social distancing restrictions. Additionally, MGM Resorts announced that they have also opened their casinos with no restrictions.

As Las Vegas casinos reach their vaccination goals and begin to fully reopen, the Nevada Gaming Control Board has decided that the casinos can each set their individual face mask policies. However, that does not necessarily mean that inoculated people can go anywhere without a mask.

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