The Biggest Casino Rumors & News Shaking Up Las Vegas This April

Posted By Marc Meltzer on April 9, 2021

Las Vegas continues to recover and is quickly returning to the vacation destination so many people love. More casinos, restaurants and shows are reopening as we speak. There are even more being planned for the near future.

The drive-in traffic to Las Vegas is increasing as the weather gets nicer. Additionally, people are getting COVID-19 vaccinations all over the country and many are starting to travel again. For better or worse, walking the Vegas Strip during weekdays already feels like 2019.

Casino operators like MGM Resorts, Caesars, Wynn and Station Casinos are helping guests feel comfortable returning to Las Vegas by making it easy for employees and their families to get vaccinated on site. Station Casinos is even offering leftover COVID-19 vaccine doses to guests. Only in Vegas!

The next change of capacity limits and COVID-19 restrictions should happen by May 1. Frankly, it already feels as though the public has moved on from the current restrictions.

People that are eating, drinking and smoking don’t have to wear a face covering. This didn’t stand out much when Las Vegas wasn’t as busy. Seeing larger crowds of people with masks down will certainly stand out. It appears as though the public has already learned a cheat code for wearing a mask – hold a drink, cigarette, and/or food item. New restrictions and capacity limits will seemingly only be changes for the sake of change.

Here are a few things to keep your eye on before planning a visit to Las Vegas.

Las Vegas hotel happenings

Caesars Entertainment recently announced that Rio would begin taking hotel reservations seven days a week for the first time since closing last year. Most venues inside the casino, but not all, are now open.

Penn & Teller will start performing at the Rio again in late April. Caesars even announced tentative dates for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) to take place inside the Rio this September. The dates are pending possible governmental restrictions.

Speaking of the WSOP, it might not have a future at the Rio. Caesars sold it in 2019, however the company has a lease to operate the casino that will expire soon. The new owners have plans to renovate and rebrand the property with Hyatt hotel towers. It could be a coincidence, but there’s a rumor going around that Bally’s will be rebranded as Horseshoe. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the WSOP returned to the brand that was its original home?

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas with Mohegan Sun Casino recently opened. The property will continue to open the venue for the next few months. Kassi Beach Club and the entertainment formerly known at The Joint didn’t open with the rest of the property.

Resorts World Las Vegas is on target to open this summer. A specific opening date hasn’t been confirmed but rumors swirl that it may be somewhere between Memorial Day Weekend and July 4th. The hotel continues to release news about what visitors will experience.

Dining news in Vegas

Resorts World recently dropped a press release with a slew of upcoming dining options. There are lots of interesting concepts from quick-serve to fine dining. Sports bettors and fans will find the combination of sportsbook and saloon to be interesting if nothing else.

Wicked Spoon buffet at Cosmopolitan is open once again. This is currently the only buffet open on the Vegas Strip. Expect some but not all Vegas Strip buffets to return later this year as restrictions are lifted.

David Chang’s Bang (pronounced bong) Bar is now open at the Block 16 food hall inside the Cosmopolitan. Quick serve restaurants from famous chefs are a great way to try their food without breaking the bank. Dishes are about $10 instead of typical $25+ at his full-service restaurants.

Another positive sign is more restaurants are offering brunch. STK is the latest and others seem to be bringing back the popular late-morning meal.

The first official Las Vegas Raiders Tavern and Grill is now open at M Resort. The bar and restaurant is decked out with Raiders gear. Don’t be surprised to see some Raiders players visiting the bar and restaurant at the official hotel Las Vegas’ NFL team.

Also, it appears as though Salt Bae’s first Las Vegas is close to opening. Nusr-Et Steakhouse will be located at The Park near T-Mobile Arena.

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Entertainment news and rumors

Entertainment is returning to Las Vegas at an astounding rate that will only accelerate when restrictions are lessened. Absinthe has returned to the tent outside of Caesars Palace. Penn & Teller will resume shows to Rio in late April. Shows will be on a reduced schedule for the time being so check listings before visiting.

The plan for Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) is moving forward. The electronic music festival will take place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway from May 21-23. This will be the biggest concert event in Las Vegas in over a year.

Zedd is the first resident DJ for Zouk Nightclub and Ayu Dayclub at Resorts World Las Vegas. Rumor has it that Tiesto could leave Hakkasan at MGM Grand and follow Zedd to Resorts World.

Billboard is reporting that Katy Perry will be a resident performer at The Theatre at Resorts World. The casino has neither confirmed nor denied but this seems likely. There’s room for lots of potential for A-list residencies at Resorts World but don’t get too excited until they’re publicly confirmed.

Palms remains closed and Billy Idol is taking his show on the road back to the Vegas Strip. He’ll be performing a series of shows at the Cosmopolitan in October. Comedian Bill Burr is also performing at the Cosmopolitan. He’ll be in Las Vegas on July 2 and 3.

Styx is planning to return to The Venetian for a couple of shows in September. They’ll be performing after the band Chicago and before ZZ Top hits the stage at The Venetian.

Classic rock band Kiss has been talking about a new residency in Las Vegas since before casinos closed last year. Those rumors are heating up again as venues plan to reopen in Vegas. Expect more entertainment announcements throughout the summer.

Photo by David Becker / Associated Press
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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