Live poker rooms are slowly starting to come back in Pennsylvania, having been closed for much of the year due to the impact of the coronavirus.
The poker rooms at The Meadows and Rivers Casino Philadelphia opened today while Mount Airy and Mohegan Sun Pocono opened their poker rooms earlier this month.
“Poker players are excited to be back at the tables, enjoying the game they love,” said Peter Longi, assistant general manager at Rivers Casino Philadelphia in a press release announcing the opening. “Our reopening was carefully planned with the safety of our team and guests being the primary concern. We’re eager to welcome back our poker team.”
Safety precautions that have been implemented adhere to the COVID-19 Casino Reopening Protocols as determined by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) and include the addition of plexiglass barriers between players and limiting the number of players at a table to seven.
In addition, staff and players are required to wear masks, with sanitizer available at each table. Chips and cards are cleaned regularly.
With coronavirus cases on the rise in Pennsylvania, there is no guarantee that what is open now will remain so in the future.
The entire world is still very much in the grips of COVID-19, with the United States fast becoming one of the worst affected countries in the world when it comes to the deadly airborne virus.
Pennsylvania casinos have been reopening in accordance with the PGCB COVID-19 guidelines that were published back in May, outlining how the properties can become COVID-19 compliant.
However, the guidance at that time stated that “poker rooms are not authorized to operate due to players handling cards and chips” and poker room operations would be reevaluated as guidance from government health organizations were updated.
Live Poker Rooms in PA: Which are Open and Which are Closed
|Live Poker Rooms
|Open or Closed
|Mohegan Sun Pocono
|Opened October 16
|Opened October 16
|Rivers Casino Philadelphia
|Opened October 23
|Presque Isle Downs
|Rivers Casino Pittsburgh
|Wind Creek Bethlehem
Online Poker in Pennsylvania
PokerStars PA is currently the only online poker room operational in the PA market, having run in the Keystone State for almost full year.
There is plenty of action on PokerStars PA, especially for those players that do not feel comfortable returning to the live poker scene.
During October, players in PA can go onto PokerStars PA and win a share more than $175,000 that will be distributed over the duration of the Mystery House promotion.
Players will need to either collect three keys from three different rooms (as every room can only be entered once) or reach the final square on the special Mystery House board to win prizes.
The Mystery House promotion is currently underway and runs until November 1. It is important to note that players must opt-in through the PokerStars lobby to participate.
More Online Poker Operators Coming to Pennsylvania
888 is hopefully coming to the PA market having been approved by the PGCB as an Interactive Gaming Manufacturer back in late September.
This means that the runway is set for the second online poker operator to launch in the state. 888’s approval could mean that we will see its partner (the World Series of Poker) launch an online poker room under the WSOP PA brand. We could also see 888 launch its own branded online poker room as 888 PA.
However, the PGCB did not reveal any details around a launch plan for another online poker room.
“PGCB staff have been working closely with Roar to launch the Party Poker and BetMGM apps, which will include interactive slots, table games and poker,” Doug Harbach, PGCB Communications Director told pokerfuse. “This includes testing of ROAR’s interactive gaming platform and games.”