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Shuffle up and deal: Venetian plans poker room relocation, expansion

Updated February 22, 2024 - 9:58 am

The Venetian will move and expand its poker room, hoping to “push the boundaries of modern poker forward,” resort officials said Wednesday.

Resort officials will move its poker room from The Venetian’s casino floor to the second level of the Grand Canal Shoppes, a shopping district that connects the resort to sister property Palazzo, this summer. The new room will expand from 35 to 50 tables in a 14,000-square-foot space.

Additional amenities in the new space will be incorporated from years of player feedback, the resort said. They include dedicated bathrooms, a self-serve Coca-Cola soda fountain and coffee, USB and USB-C charging ports at every seat, easy access to online ordering direct to a player’s seat, sports betting and player loyalty kiosks and more.

“It’s going to be a completely different look and a completely different feel,” director of poker operations Tommy LaRosa said in an interview. “It’s going to be modern, it’s going to be clean, and it’s just going to be unique. It’s going to be a one-of-a-kind space.”

LaRosa said the new location gives players better accessibility. Its location in the shopping district gives quick access to the Palazzo self-parking garage and additional restaurant offerings near the room and puts the room away from smoke and noise of the gaming floor.

One way resort officials chose to modernize the room is with a dedicated streaming room that will allow players to coordinate a vlogging session. It also gives the room the ability to stream final tables in the DeepStack tournament series and cash games.

“What these streams can do is welcome people, make them feel comfortable and make them want to get out and try it right,” LaRosa said.”That’s what we hope — that they see the Venetian poker room as part of those vlogs, that they want to experience exactly what those vloggers are doing, and be a part of a part of what we’re offering here at The Venetian.”

The Venetian’s current poker room, first introduced in 2006, will remain open until the new location is ready. A specific opening date was not announced.

The resort declined to specify how much the expansion will cost, but said it viewed the change as an investment into poker rooms in a time when there are changing strategies to the rooms’ business models.

“It’s not often that a company makes this kind of investment into poker,” LaRosa said. “So this is very exciting, and it says something about the belief the team has in our players who support our room.”

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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