Indoor poker going live at the Bike and Commerce

Geoff Fisk
Published by:
Posted on 04/01/2021

Two major California poker rooms announce reopening of indoor facilities, set for April 5

Two of the largest and most recognizable venues on the Southern California live poker scene take another step toward returning to normalcy next Monday.

The Bicycle Casino and Commerce Casino will reopen their indoor poker rooms on April 5. The first announcement came through via the Bicycle Casino Twitter account on Tuesday.

The tweet didn’t announce any details about how the indoor setup will look or what will happen to the casino’s current outdoor venue:

“We are excited to announce the reopening of INDOOR GAMING at The Bicycle Hotel & Casino, on Mon. April 5th! More details to follow soon” reads the tweet. “Reopening Date & Time are subject to change assuming County case numbers do not increase and pending LA County Dept. of Public Health Orders.”

Commerce Casino followed up with a similar Twitter announcement Thursday:

#TheCommerce is preparing our tables, so we will be ready to expand our gaming operation to include indoor gaming starting Monday, April 5th,” reads the announcement. “We will be adding more tables, but the majority of our gaming tables will still be in our outdoor gaming set up. More info to come.”

Los Angeles County health officials recently moved the county into the “Red Tier” of the area’s COVID-19 indoor business reopening plan, effective March 15. That tier allows some types of businesses to reopen indoor facilities at 25% capacity.

Cardrooms in the state were still required to operate outdoor venues under the Red Tier. Tuesday’s tweet, however, comes on the heels of an announcement that puts the county into a less-restricted tier next week.

The county can move into the “Orange Tier” on April 5, barring any unexpected surges in COVID-19 cases between now and then. The Orange Tier allows indoor bars and restaurants to operate under fewer restrictions and gives the green light for cardrooms to resume indoor operations at 25% capacity.

Outlook for the California poker economy

The Bicycle and Commerce are the first California poker rooms to announce intentions to reopen indoor facilities. California poker players can expect other L.A. cardrooms to do the same if the move to the Orange Tier goes through.

Commercial cardrooms around the state were forced to shut down in late June due to a COVID-19 emergency order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom. California cardrooms were permitted to reopen on Oct. 5, but only as outdoor venues.

That outdoor mandate led to a transformation from poker rooms around the state. Some of California’s biggest cardrooms moved the tables into massive open-air tents, including the Bicycle and the Commerce.

Indoor poker rooms at tribal casinos aren’t affected by state-issued emergency orders. Many tribal casinos across California have run indoor operations as usual throughout the last six months.

Two of Los Angeles’ biggest poker rooms now join the list of venues with available indoor poker facilities. Check back with Poker.org for continued updates on California poker rooms.

Featured image source: Twitter