Bridge to bring almost 8,000 to Las Vegas - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Bridge to bring almost 8,000 to Las Vegas

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Bridge enthusiasts compete at the North American Bridge Champion at Westgate Las Vegas Resort on Thursday, July 17. (FOX5) Bridge enthusiasts compete at the North American Bridge Champion at Westgate Las Vegas Resort on Thursday, July 17. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The North American Bridge Championship has returned to Las Vegas for the first time since 2008.

Located at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort through July 27, you are greeted with a very common sight in Las Vegas: a room full of card players. What was uncommon though was relative silence.

"Yes, because the concentration level is very high. It's very intense at this level of play," said tournament chairperson Bonnie Bagley.

Upwards of 8,000 players from ages ranging between 10 and 100 will be participating through at buy-in prices better than a two-for-one buffet.

"It's an opportunity for the price of $20 to come and compete against the best in the world," said Leon Fisher from San Diego.

The prizes, however, leave a typical gambler something to be desired.

"Well, what do you win?" asked Bagley. "It's called master points. There is no money involved whatsoever."

"It's mostly about fame and glory," said world champion and Las Vegas resident Fred Gitelman.

The big winner is the Las Vegas economy, which stands to gain about $6 million from the 10-day event, according to Bagley. "A lot of bridge players like to gamble, and they're very good at it, which is a reason why the Las Vegas NABC is the most popular," she said.

"By and large, bridge players are affluent people, so hopefully they're going to spend money in our city," Gitelman said.

The event is scheduled to return again in 2019.

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, meetings and conventions produce upwards of $7.4 billion in non-gaming revenue for the city annually.

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