Two more live poker rooms reopen in Pennsylvania

Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: October 28, 2020 02:38 PDT

Rivers Philadelphia, Meadows Casino back in business after seven-month shutdown

The long road back to normalcy for Pennsylvania's live poker players finally appears to be hitting the end, as two more live poker rooms resumed business in the Keystone state over the weekend.

Both Meadows Casino and Rivers Philadelphia reopened their poker rooms Friday, marking the end of a period of more than seven months shuttered for both. The pair of reopenings brought the total number of open live poker rooms in Pennsylvania up to four, as Mohegan Sun Pocono and Mount Airy Casino Resort both got back to business the previous Friday.

Nearly half of Pennsylvania's nine live poker rooms are up and running as October winds down. The state's largest poker room, at Parx Casino, remains shut down, along with Hollywood Casino, Presque Isle Downs, Rivers Pittsburgh, and Wind Creek Bethlehem.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia the first Philadelphia poker room to reopen

Rivers Philadelphia and Parx Casino represent the two major poker rooms in the Philadelphia area. The Rivers Philadelphia poker room reopened with a 14-table capacity and a number of new sanitation and safety protocols.

Included in those new safety provisions is a buy-in only policy for the poker room cage, as all cash outs must be conducted at the casino cage on the main floor. No smoking is allowed inside the poker room, and food consumption isn't permitted.

Plexiglass dividers are installed between all player seats and the dealer, and the tables will run at a limited capacity of seven players per table until further notice.

"Poker players are excited to be back at the tables, enjoying the game they love,” said Rivers Philadelphia assistant general manager Peter Longi in a press release. "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."

Meadows Casino poker room brings live poker back to the Pittsburgh area

The Meadows Casino poker room also celebrated a reopening on Friday, as live poker is now up and running in Pennsylvania's two biggest metropolitan areas. The Pittsburgh-area casino will run 14 poker tables, with only cash games running until further notice.

The poker room is taking all of the standard COVID-19-era sanitation precautions for the reopening, including plexiglass dividers, regular sanitation of chips and cards, sanitizer stations for players and staff, and permission for players to wear gloves.

The past two weeks have signaled a return for live poker in two of the nation's biggest poker states. In addition to the four Pennsylvania poker rooms that have reopened in the past two weeks, Atlantic City's biggest poker room, Borgata, reopened as the first live New Jersey poker room to resume operations on Oct. 21.

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