A pair of Pennsylvania casinos reopen poker rooms after seven-month shutdown
The rumors hit social media earlier this month, as inside sources in the Pennsylvania gaming industry seemed to hint that the return of live poker was near in the Keystone State. As of Oct. 16, at least two of the state’s nine poker rooms are back in business.
Both Mohegan Sun Pocono and Mount Airy Casino Resort opened the doors to their poker rooms last week, as one of the biggest live poker hubs in the U.S. finally appears ready for a return to normalcy. Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos shut down in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but all of those properties reopened at limited capacity across the state in June and July.
While most areas of the casino floor at Pennsylvania’s casinos got the go-ahead signal to resume business, poker rooms have remained shut down. The reopening of the poker rooms at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Mount Airy Casino, however, could signal the imminent return of live poker throughout the state.
Mount Airy Casino, Mohegan Sun Pocono poker room to operate at limited capacity
Based in Mt. Pocono in northeast Pennsylvania, Mount Airy Casino hosts a 12-table poker room. The casino, which acts as the land-based partner for the PokerStars PA online poker platform in Pennsylvania, posted a list of conditions that the poker room will operate under due to COVID-19 considerations.
According to the list, the Mount Airy Casino poker room will run at “limited capacity” and run a maximum of seven players per table. Plexiglass dividers, which have become the standard for live poker during the pandemic crisis, are in place at all tables.
Table changes are only permitted once every eight hours, and neither food nor spectators are allowed in the poker room. Face masks are required by all players and staff, and all chips, cards, chairs and rails will be sanitized regularly.
The Mohegan Sun Pocono — about a two-hour drive west of Mount Airy Casino in Wilkes-Barre — also opened up its five-table poker room on Oct. 16. The casino is also using a seven-player max guideline.
Meadows Casino to reopen poker room Friday, Oct. 23
Meadows Casino appears to be in line to become the third live poker room to reopen in Pennsylvania. Located in the Pittsburgh area, the casino announced on Twitter that its poker room will reopen Friday, Oct. 23.
Poker is Returning! The Poker Room will reopen Friday, October 23 at 11AM and will be open daily 11AM-1AM. We can't wait to welcome all our Poker Players back! pic.twitter.com/YRXitHYC4l
— Meadows Casino (@MeadowsCasino) October 20, 2020
No specifics on restricted capacity or sanitation protocols are available yet on the Meadows Casino website, and a call to the poker room went unanswered Tuesday.
A representative at Parx Casino, which hosts the state’s biggest poker room, told Poker.org Tuesday that the room is still closed, with no set date yet for its reopening. With 80 tables and a reputation as one of the busiest poker rooms in the northeast, the return of poker at Parx Casino will no doubt be welcome for players in the nearby Philadelphia area.
Poker.org will continue to update the Pennsylvania live poker room reopening situation as more details emerge.
Featured image source: Twitter