In a bit of a good news/bad news situation, the poker world is gaining a new brick-and-mortar poker room while losing another.
First, the bad news (from my years of watching television, I am confident that most people want their bad news first). According to an article by Jennifer Gay at anteupmagazine.com, Tunica, Mississippi’s Gold Strike casino will be shutting down its poker room on January 14, 2014. This will be the third Mississippi poker room closing in a year; the room at Isle of Capri called it quits on January 11, 2013, while Sam’s Town Tunica put away the cards on January 23 of this calendar year.
Gay reported that the poker room had been losing business in recent years, so this isn’t necessarily a huge shock. She spoke with Johnny Grooms, former World Series of Poker tournament director and now regional poker room manager for MGM Mississippi (Gold Strike is an MGM property), who said that while the MGM tournament series could still run as scheduled in Tunica in the coming year, he is not positive that it will.
On the flip side, John Mehaffey of USPoker.com reported this weekend that the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City will resurrect its poker room this week, pending regulator approval. The casino opened its poker room in early 2012 and closed it on October 10, 2013. Prior to that closing, Revel in Atlantic City also shut down its poker room.
There is no further information on Golden Nugget’s website aside from the fact that the poker room will re-open on December 26 at noon, but Mehaffey reports that the poker room will have a bad beat jackpot and a High Hand Winner’s Wheel. The Golden Nugget did have jackpot promotions before it closed in the fall and distributed all the accumulated money before locking the doors.
Golden Nugget should be helped by being on the Bravo Poker app, which allows poker players to stay current on live poker games and promotions at local casinos. It was not on the app in its former incarnation.
In addition to reviving its brick-and-mortar poker room, Golden Nugget also has plans to launch its online poker room soon. When New Jersey’s online gaming industry got up and running at the end of November, Golden Nugget did participate in the five-day soft launch period, but took its site down when everything officially went live on November 26 so that it could continue testing. While no date has been set, Golden Nugget says on its website that its online poker product, developed with Amaya Gaming, is “coming soon.”