As trend wanes, Vegas casinos fold on poker rooms

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The Tropicana hoped to make a splash when it opened its poker room in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip.

But that same morning, federal agents shut down the three biggest poker sites on the Internet. Last September, less than a year and a half later, the casino swapped out its felt tables for slots.

It's a story that's become increasingly common as the casinos that once competed to lure poker fans abandon the waning game in favor of more lucrative alternatives.

In Vegas, at least eight rooms have folded in the past two years. The trend is also playing out in Mississippi riverboats, Indian casinos and gambling halls from California to Florida.

Poker's proponents say the game remains as popular as ever, it's just the economy that's off.

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