LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – International visitors fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to travel to the United States from November 8, according to the White House. Local officials said on Friday it would have an immediate impact on Vegas.
The World Series of Poker, which lasts almost two months, has been underway for a few weeks. Event organizers told FOX5 in late September that they hoped the tournament would be able to accommodate more international players in November. Now, with the new date, it looks like players will be able to join the main event just in time.
“We’re going to see a lot of very tired international travelers rushing down the World Series of Poker cage with their suitcases still trailing behind them,” said professional poker player Matt Stout.
In 2019, both amateur and professional players came to Vegas from 118 different countries. Stout, an American, said the World Series of Poker just isn’t the same without the international presence.
“Other than obviously more money for the top spot which we’re always happy with, it’s also just that feeling that it’s the World Series of Poker. You want everyone in the world to have the opportunity to represent their country and play for honor countries and have the opportunity to win a WSOP bracelet for their country, ”said Stout.
The first Las Vegas convention after the lift on travel for vaccinated foreigners is IMEX, which brings together thousands of professionals.
IMEX said Friday that this “gives the green light to hundreds of other global buyers, exhibitors and industry professionals to come to Las Vegas for IMEX America.”
The Visitors and Convention Authority said Vegas hosted 5.7 million international visitors in 2019, resulting in a direct economic impact of $ 4.8 billion.
“Today marks an important turning point in the resumption of international tours essential to the Las Vegas tourism industry,” said Steve Hill, CEO of LVCVA. “This milestone is also important and welcome news for many of our major trade shows and conventions which attract exhibitors and attendees from all over the world.”
Stout believes the WSOP could see numbers like never before in November.
“I think there are a lot more people taking pictures, playing bigger tournaments than they normally would. And I don’t think it’s unrealistic to think that it could be more important than that. ‘main event of 2019, which is the last time it was held, “Stout mentioned.
The new rules, the White House said, will be rolled out in stages. The first phase will begin in early November and will allow fully vaccinated visitors traveling for non-essential reasons, such as visiting friends or for tourism, to cross US land borders.
The second phase will begin in early January 2022 and will apply the vaccination obligation to all incoming foreign travelers.