My Experience of the Reopening of the Las Vegas Strip: A Detailed Account

Caesars Palace CasinoCaesars Palace Casino

On the morning of June 5th, I finally made my way to the vibrant Las Vegas Strip, eager to experience its lively atmosphere since its reopening. I was thrilled to find out that out of the many casinos on the Strip, a total of 16 were open and ready to welcome visitors. However, there were still 12 casinos that remained closed, waiting for the right time to resume operations. Interestingly, Excalibur stood out as the only closed casino with a confirmed reopening date, which was set for June 11th.

I kicked off my adventure at Sahara. Afterward, I hit the road and made my way to The Strat, followed by Circus Circus, Treasure Island, and Caesars Palace. From there, I decided to stretch my legs and strolled south towards Cosmopolitan. Not wanting to miss out on anything, I trekked up to Encore on the opposite side. As my feet grew weary, I retraced my steps back to Caesars Palace, where my trusty car awaited. With renewed energy, I hopped behind the wheel and zoomed over to New York-New York to see what it had to offer. To round off my explorations, I swung by MGM Grand to check it out as well.

Mask usage

Masks have become a major point of discussion, especially when it comes to their usage in public spaces. At Caesars Entertainment properties, players at table games are required to wear masks, while for others, it is optional. Interestingly, the percentage of people wearing masks on the Strip ranged from 20 to 25 percent. However, at the Cosmopolitan, the usage was almost nonexistent, whereas at the Caesars properties, Wynn and Venetian, it may have reached as high as one-third of the visitors. In case you forget to bring your own mask, don't worry, as the casinos are more than happy to provide you with one upon request.


As soon as I arrived at the Sahara parking deck, I couldn't help but notice a distinct change. Opting to park near the Strip, I took the elevator down to the ground level. Upon reaching my destination, there was an unfamiliar barrier obstructing my path to the main entrance. This unexpected development compelled me to take a detour, leading me to the back of the property, by the pool, in order to gain access to the interior.

Entering the establishment, I immediately noticed the lack of activity within the casino. The atmosphere seemed subdued, with only a handful of patrons engaged in table games. The betting limits were modest, ranging from $5 to $10 for most games. However, if one desired a 3:2 blackjack game, they would need to wager $15. On the other hand, a more lenient option awaited those willing to bet $50, as it allowed the dealer to stand on all 17s. Similarly, the game of Baccarat required a minimum bet of $50 to participate. Regrettably, Pai Gow and the lower limit baccarat tables were indefinitely closed, perhaps due to unforeseen circumstances.

Northside Cafe is now open for dining, welcoming guests to enjoy a delightful culinary experience. At Sahara, they have implemented a reservation system for table game seats that, at first glance, appeared to be underutilized. To further enhance safety and maintain social distancing, ropes have been strategically placed to discourage railbirds from encroaching on the gaming action. These measures not only prioritize the well-being of patrons but also create a serene and enjoyable ambiance. So, whether you're seeking a delectable meal or the thrill of gaming, Sahara and Northside Cafe are ready to cater to your desires.

The Strat

The Stratosphere, now called The Strat, wasn't particularly bustling when I visited. The closest pit to the sportsbook had some $5 and $10 games available. A supervisor informed me that the company had plans to introduce new exclusive games later that evening. On the casino floor, there was a fresh stadium gaming setup, though it wasn't up and running just yet. The area near the north tower, which encompassed the high limit slot section, was cordoned off.

The tower's operating hours remain unchanged, with rides like SkyJump available from 2pm to 10pm. Both Top of the World Steakhouse and 107 Skylounge continue to welcome visitors.

Circus Circus

I recently visited Circus Circus and noticed a significant transformation in the establishment. In response to current economic conditions, the decision was made to temporarily close the table games until a more favorable business environment arises. One notable change was the removal of the pit at the top of the stairs, creating a sense of spaciousness in that area. Interestingly, a stadium game was introduced in a part of the lower floor's pit, offering 6:5 blackjack and 00 roulette, both requiring a minimum bet of $5. It was intriguing to observe that the only instance of plexiglass I encountered was between the stadium seats and at certain $1 coin slot machines. However, I was delighted to find that the rides and midway remained open for enjoyment.

Slots A Fun

As I entered Slots A Fun, an overwhelming sense of sadness engulfed me. The once inviting front entrance now stood barricaded, denying access to any eager patrons. To my dismay, not a single restaurant within the establishment appeared to be operating. It was a desolate scene, devoid of the vibrant energy that once filled the air. However, amidst the gloom, I couldn't help but notice the presence of around 50 slot machines, accompanied by a modest assortment of $1 video table games, numbering no more than six.

Treasure Island

As I reflect on my recent experience, I must say that Treasure Island, following the established pattern, was quite lackluster in terms of excitement. Upon arrival, I noticed that only a limited number of tables were available for play, which dampened my spirits. The choices at hand were either a single deck blackjack with a disappointing 6:5 payout ratio, or a slightly better double deck blackjack with a 3:2 payout. However, the minimum bet for both options was set at $25, significantly higher than the usual $10 limits I am accustomed to. In addition, I spotted a Three Card Poker table with a minimum bet of $15, which seemed reasonable compared to the blackjack tables. Unfortunately, my luck ran out when I found out that the Craps table, although scheduled to open that evening, did not have a minimum bet announced. To make matters worse, the high limit salon, which I had hoped to explore, was closed indefinitely.

As I walked into the bustling arena, I couldn't help but notice the excitement in the air. A cutting-edge gaming system was in the midst of being installed, promising an immersive experience like no other. However, it wasn't quite ready to make its grand debut just yet. In the meantime, the existing system was still up and running, offering its beloved $3 3:2 blackjack on weekdays and a thrilling $100 roulette game. The familiar sounds of shuffling cards and the spinning roulette wheel filled the room, captivating the eager players who had gathered around. Though anticipation for the new system was palpable, the current setup continued to provide ample entertainment for those seeking a thrilling casino experience.

Caesars Palace

During my exploration of the famous Las Vegas Strip, I found Caesars Palace to be the liveliest among all the casinos I visited. Interestingly, despite its bustling atmosphere, I noticed that two of its pits were completely closed, while the high limit salon seemed nearly deserted. Nevertheless, the main pit presented an enticing opportunity for some exciting gameplay. What caught my attention immediately was that all the open blackjack tables followed the traditional payout of 3:2. As for the minimum bet, it was set at a reasonable $25, which seemed to attract both seasoned gamblers and curious newcomers alike. Besides blackjack, I observed that other popular games such as craps, baccarat, and Pai Gow Poker also maintained a minimum bet of $25. However, for those seeking a more casual experience, there were plenty of options available at lower stakes, with table games like roulette and Let It Ride starting at $10 or $15. It's worth noting that in accordance with current regulations, players engaging in table games were required to wear masks, prioritizing everyone's safety. Additionally, the casino strictly prohibited smoking at the tables, ensuring a clean and comfortable gaming environment for all visitors.

Two eateries were operating in the food court, while the majority of the prominent dining choices remained closed.


The pit was far from busy, but Bellagio had undergone several changes. Plexiglass had been installed on all tables, ensuring the safety of the guests. To prioritize hygiene, hand washing areas were conveniently placed throughout the casino. Although the tables had some action, it was evident that the bustling energy of the past was yet to be fully restored.

The casino floor underwent some rearrangement, resulting in a few tables being shifted to different locations. Among the games that experienced a change in minimum bets, craps and 3:2 blackjack were set at a minimum of $25. For those who preferred the classic stand on all 17 blackjack games, the starting bet was $100, and the same applied to baccarat. As for the proprietary and 6:5 blackjack games, their minimum bets were either $10 or $15, providing options for players with different bankrolls.


During my visit to Cosmopolitan on June 5th, I couldn't help but notice that the gaming scene hadn't changed much since the last table game survey. The only noticeable difference was the removal of a few seats from the tables. The casino was moderately busy, but thankfully not overcrowded. As I stepped into their high limit salon, everything seemed to be running smoothly as usual. However, it was rather surprising to see that I could count the number of non-employees wearing masks on just one hand.


The electronic table game pit at Flamingo has undergone an expansion, offering a wider range of gaming options for visitors. Notably, the table game limits have been adjusted, with lower limits now in place for Pai Gow Poker and proprietary games. On the other hand, those who enjoy blackjack and craps will find higher limits at these tables. It is important to note that masks are mandatory for all guests participating in table games, as part of the casino's safety measures. Furthermore, the casino strictly enforces a no-smoking policy at the tables, ensuring a comfortable and smoke-free environment for everyone.

Apart from the absence of chairs at tables and slots, everything seemed the same as usual. The pitch blackjack games were still being dealt in the same manner. The completion of the expansion for video table games had yet to be finalized. These video table games included craps, roulette, and 6:5 blackjack, along with an untitled Interblock machine. Luckily, the food court remained open for business. However, I couldn't find any other restaurants that were open at the time.


At the Caesars properties, just like anywhere else, you'll need to wear a mask when playing table games, and smoking is a big no-no. As I entered the poker room, I couldn't help but notice that it was completely deserted. Surprisingly, the table limits remained unchanged, nothing out of the ordinary there. Interestingly, they still stuck to dealing the double deck game as a pitch. However, I did notice the absence of any additional video table games. When it came to food options, my choices were limited to quick-serve joints, as they were the only ones open.

Casino Royale

Casino Royale had stripped away all of its table games, leaving only a handful of slots still operating. Curiosity piqued, I approached two employees to inquire about the future of these games. To my dismay, both confirmed that there were no plans to reintroduce them. Apart from the absence of table games, everything else seemed unchanged, with the fast food joints bustling as usual.

Venetian and Palazzo

As I made my way along the bustling Las Vegas Strip, the first casino that caught my attention was the Venetian/Palazzo. What struck me most was the fact that they conducted temperature checks upon entry, a safety measure that I hadn't yet encountered during my journey from Caesars Palace to Cosmopolitan on the opposite side of the Strip. However, I successfully passed the test without any complications. The process itself was efficient and straightforward, ensuring that guests could enter the casino quickly and with peace of mind.

When I first arrived, I immediately made my way to the poker room. To my surprise, there were a whopping 19 tables available, each accommodating five players. Eager to explore further, I then ventured towards the stadium gaming area. Although it seemed quite familiar, I couldn't help but notice the absence of Sic Bo, a popular game that was previously offered.

The table game pit, while not exactly bustling, had a decent number of players. It was interesting to note that the limits for some of the games were remarkably low compared to my previous visits. The Craps table, for instance, had a minimum bet of just $10, which was quite enticing. Similarly, both Pai Gow Poker and Spanish 21 had a minimum bet of $15, making them affordable options for casual gamblers. Baccarat, on the other hand, had a slightly higher minimum bet of $25, which was still reasonable considering the potential winnings. As for the remaining games, they followed the usual pattern of having typical minimum bets.

Palazzo and Venetian offered comparable gaming experiences, but Venetian was notably more bustling and vibrant while Palazzo was relatively calm and tranquil.

Wynn and Encore

The experience at Wynn/Encore, my second stop on the Las Vegas Strip, was quite unique. Upon entering, I noticed that they had implemented a temperature check requirement, just like the previous casino. However, what struck me was the exceptional level of politeness displayed by the security guards conducting the checks. They made the process feel seamless and efficient. In fact, it was so swift that by the time I approached the podium, I had already been cleared to proceed into the building.

About half the tables at Wynn and Encore had plexiglass installed, granting players the freedom to choose between the two options. This flexible approach was evident as I walked through both casinos, observing a combination of tables with and without the protective barriers.

Neither of the casinos I visited was particularly bustling with activity. At Wynn, there was a decent amount of action happening, while at Encore, it seemed like there was very little going on. As I approached the tables, I noticed that the minimum bets were in line with what I would typically anticipate for an evening at both Wynn and Encore. The carnival games and craps tables had a minimum bet of $10, which was quite reasonable. If I wanted to play a game of blackjack with a 3:2 payout, it would require a minimum bet of $25. Similarly, the minimum bets for Pai Gow Poker and Tiles tables were also set at $25. As for the higher limit games, they followed the usual standard of minimum bets.

MGM Grand

As soon as I arrived at the Strip entrance of the MGM Grand, I couldn't help but spot the security guard stationed at the podium. However, it seemed to me that he was merely keeping an eye on the casino-goers entering the premises, without actively engaging in any security measures. What caught my attention immediately was the sight of the Level Up lounge, which appeared completely devoid of its usual furnishings. A quick check of the MGM Grand's website confirmed that it was indeed temporarily closed, as stated on their official page.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I stepped into the casino; it was like nothing I had ever seen before, on a whole new level of slowness. Plexiglass barriers adorned all the table games, creating an almost surreal atmosphere. As I approached the Craps table, I noticed that the minimum bet was set at a reasonable $10, while some of the carnival games had the same betting limit. However, what truly caught my attention was the astonishingly low minimum bet of $15 for a 3:2 blackjack game. It had been at least four years since I had seen it at such an enticing level. The rest of the games followed the usual limits, offering a sense of familiarity amidst the unusual setting.

New York-New York

My final destination was New York-New York, where I encountered a striking sight: every table was equipped with plexiglass. The only available carnival games were Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold'em, both of which had a minimum wager of $10. Interestingly, this minimum also applied to the double and triple zero roulette tables. As I strolled through the casino, I couldn't help but overhear a disgruntled player at the triple zero table expressing frustration about the additional zero on the wheel, despite the fact that an open seat was just a few steps away at the double zero table. The situation, though a bit pathetic, did manage to elicit a sense of amusement within me.

The minimum wager for craps was $25, and this same amount was also the minimum bet for 3:2 blackjack.

my performance at New York-New York came to an end.

In the heart of New York-New York, there lies a collection of timeless Gamemaker video poker machines, each holding a special allure. Among the games bestowed upon us is the ever-thrilling Let it Ride. As I approach the machine, anticipation courses through my veins, fueled by the desire for both entertainment and potential winnings. With a confident flick of my wrist, I insert five crisp dollar bills into the machine, placing a bet stack of $1.25 on each. The game begins, and I find myself engrossed, navigating the intricate strategies and decisions with lightning speed. The adrenaline surges as I make each move, reveling in the exhilarating nature of the game. However, it is crucial to tread carefully, for one cannot afford the misstep of retracting a bet stack once victory has graced their hand. The astute software stands as an unwavering guardian, unyielding in its refusal to permit such an error.

I was quite impressed with the quality of the drink service. It seemed like the casino was experiencing a lull in activity, as there were very few people in the server's section, myself included. However, I must admit that the drink service is consistently reliable and satisfactory in this establishment.

Also worth noting: A detailed account of my second day exploring the opening night of Downtown Las Vegas.