Las Vegas Strip to reopen in May?

Las Vegas Strip to reopen in May?  If you’ve ever been to Nevada, you’ll know that there’s nothing quite like seeing the bright lights and bustling crowds in Las Vegas. Home of box office busting sporting events and casinos as far as the eye can see, it’s the kid in a candy store gambling equivalent for those who like their entertainment  faced paced and with an element of risk. Of course that’s all changed for now though, due to covid-19. While the lights may still shine bright, the crowds are absent and it’s a world on pause. A place once full of life, now replaced by an eerie and unfamiliar silence.

How long this will continue for is anyone’s guess, but Matt Maddox, the CEO of Wynn Resorts is calling for the Las Vegas Strip to begin reopening as early as May with certain restrictions in place. Mirroring a gradual return that will likely also be seen in other sectors, Maddox foresees measures such as reduced occupancy, increased testing  and a requirement to wear masks put in place. He has his eye on mid to late May for this process to begin. This is no doubt music to President Trump’s ears as he’s more than eager to get the economy up and running again.

“I understand that if we incrementally reopen we might have to pull back if a spike in cases occurs that jeopardizes our health care system capacity. However, the only way to cross this river is one stone at a time, and we need to put our feet in the water before it is too late,” Maddox wrote.

Credit to Wynn Resorts as they’re currently still paying all part and full-time employees. A move that the CEO says is costing the company an eye watering $3,000,000 per day. In these unprecedented and unpredictable times, who knows when we’ll find ourselves returning to some semblance of normality where we feel safe in busy environments. I certainly welcome a time when we do though.

Fouad al-Zayat

Fouad al-Zayat  The late Fouad al-Zayat, who died in Lebanon in 2018 at the age of 77, was a Syrian-born businessman, known in casino circles as the ‘Fat Man’. A prolific, but secretive, gambler, the twenty-stone billionaire regularly frequented Aspinalls Club in Mayfair, in the West End of London between 1994 and 2006. Initially, al-Zayat gambled tens, or hundreds, of thousands of pounds in a single visit but, towards the turn of the century, satisfied the definition of a high roller, or ‘whale’ in casino industry parlance, by raising his stakes to a million pounds, or more, in a single visit.

All told, in a twelve-year period, al-Zayat gambled £91.5 million at Aspinalls, losing £23.2 million, or 25% of his stake money. However, in March, 2000, al-Zayat drew four house checks for £500,000 apiece and lost all £2 million playing blackjack. He subsequently cancelled a cheque for £2 million, following a row over a croupier and, in 2006, Aspinalls sued him for that amount, plus £50,000 in costs. Initially, al-Zayat was ordered to repay the debt, but successfully appealed to the High Court on the grounds that Aspinalls had allowed him to defer payment for twelve months and, thereby, effectively allowed him credit that was illegal under the Gaming Act. The High Court judge agreed and the original ruling was overturned, effectively wiping out the debt. In 2015, al-Zayat was tried in absentia, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for bribery in Greece and, at the time of his death, was also wanted for fraud in Cyprus.

Bad Luck

Bad Luck

Casino Games – Blackjack

Casino Games - Blackjack  Blackjack, a.k.a. ‘twenty-one’, is a card game in which the aim is to outscore the dealer, or have the dealer ‘bust’ by having a points total exceeding twenty-one. The name ‘blackjack’ was derived from a bonus historically paid to players dealt the jack of spades or the jack of clubs and the ace of spades, but nowadays the term is used to describe any court card or ten and an ace, of any suit, dealt as the first two cards to a player during the game.

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world because it is easy to understand and offers a house edge of less than 1%, depending on the number of decks of cards – typically between one and eight – used in the game. Indeed, by using a set of rules, known as ‘basic strategy’, which describe the optimal way to play any hand, skilled players to reduce the house edge to around 0.5%.

In casino blackjack, before any cards are dealt, each player places one or more bets, depending on how many hands they wish to play at a time, in the designated area in front of them. Each player hand receives two cards, face down, while the dealer hand receives two cards, one of which, known as the ‘upcard’, is dealt face up. With the exception of blackjack, which outranks all other 21-point hands, the value of a hand is the sum of the individual cards; aces count as 1 or 11, court cards count 10 and all other cards count as face value.

Players may stand pat with their cards or draw one or more additional cards, but if total value of any hand exceeds 21, the hand ‘busts’ and the bet loses. Other options include doubling a bet, in return for one, and only one card, splitting a pair into two individual hands and surrendering a hand, which results in losing half, but only half, of the money staked on it.