Following an extended shutdown in March due to the coronavirus, Pennsylvania casinos started to reopen in June. The state’s entire casino industry was back in business during the month of July. One lingering result of the pandemic was casino poker. Those rooms remained closed due to safety protocols. This was under the watchful eye of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The chief concern was the constant interchange of cards and gaming chips.
Which Local Casino Poker Rooms Start Reopening In Pennsylvania?
Moving forward through the ongoing health crisis, two properties have reopened for poker. The first is the Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County. The other casino is the Mohegan Sun Pocono in Luzerne County. Each of these casinos are located in the northeast section of the state.
Penn National Gaming is looking to reopen one of its poker rooms by the end of the month. This would be the Meadows Racetrack & Casino in western PA. Plans for the company’s Hollywood Casino poker room in Dauphin County remain up in the air. This is according to Jeff Morris. He is Penn National’s vice president of public affairs and government relations.
Other casinos across the state have yet to release and specific plans for their poker rooms. Wind Creek Bethlehem operates 26 tables in its poker room. The company has not made any official announcement concerning any reopening plans. This information was provided by Julia Corwin in a discussion with a local news source (The Morning Call).
Interestingly enough, Harrah’s Philadelphia has decided to permanently close its poker room. The casino declined to comment on the situation.
The Gaming Control Board reached out the state’s casinos in September. They needed to submit a reopening plan for review. A board spokesperson involved with the matter was Doug Harbach.
He mentioned that the plans needed to address several safety requirements. These included translucent dividers to separate quests and dealers. A table’s maximum capacity was set at seven players plus the dealer.
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Other stipulations covered the cleaning and sanitizing the dividers, poker chips, and cards.
Players would be able to utilize translucent gloves while at the table. No food is allowed in the poker room.
Poker rooms in New Jersey casinos are going through the same process. Last week, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City announced its plans. That poker room will offer 30 tables arranged to promote social distancing. It will reopen to the public on Wednesday, Oct. 21.
The overall industry concern is a fall resurgence of the coronavirus. Pennsylvania has not released any new plans given the situation. State officials believe the casino industry is in a much better position to address the situation. This is opposed to the initial outbreak in March.
At one point, all 989 land-based casino venues across the nation were forced to close their doors. This figure includes tribal casino properties. Reopening in the spring came with strict health and safety guidelines. Limits on capacity remain in place across many of these gaming properties.
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