Retail casinos have very slowly been reopening across the United States and while most remain closed, others are forming plans about how and when they can reopen safely.
Last week, casinos in PA were given guidelines by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for reopening once the state gives the green light to reopen casinos.
In a statement, PGCB Executive Director said the following of the reopening:
As conditions throughout the Commonwealth improve and the reopening of casinos is authorized, the PGCB desires to assure that re-openings occur in a manner which promote(s) the safety of casino patrons and employees alike as well as assure an environment conducive to proper regulatory oversight.
What’s in the PA casino reopening guidelines?
The 10-page document outlining reopening protocols for casinos is comprehensive in nature. While many of the guidelines should be familiar to those that have lived through the last couple of months, many guidelines also address the uniqueness of the casino environment.
Some of the more notable guidelines include the following:
- Hand sanitizing wipes will be available for casino players at all slot machines
- Cashiers and sportsbook employees will be required to wear gloves
- Hand sanitizing stations are required on the casino floor
- Markings will be placed on the casino floors to keep players 6 feet apart
- Table games will require fewer players seated at each tables
- Some slot machines may be disabled or plexiglass dividers placed to keep slot players at a safe distance from each other
- Poker rooms will remain closed
- Casino employees are asked to recognize if players appear ill when entering the casino and will periodically ask players COVID-19 related screening questions.
So when will PA casinos reopen?
Despite the release of the reopening guidelines, the reopening of PA casinos is not imminent. The state has implemented a three-phase reopening plan for counties that are seeing manageable COVID-19 levels.
None of the counties that have casinos have yet moved to a “green” level phase which will allow for casinos to reopen at 50% capacity. So for now, PA casinos will focus on getting ready for when the time comes to safely reopen.
PA Online Casinos remain an attractive alternative
If you are waiting for retail PA casinos to reopen or simply don’t want to take the risks to play at a casino, fortunately there are many options to play online for Pennsylvania players.
Online casinos such as PlaySugarHouse, Hollywood Casino and BetRivers are popular options for players looking for casino games. Online sportsbooks are also still taking bets, even if the selection is less than is desired right now. The DraftKings Online Sportsbook PA and FanDuel PA Sportsbook are popular favorites with bettors. Online poker is also available but limited to one option at the moment — PokerStars PA.
Hopefully the COVID-19 situation continues to improve and PA players can look forward to safely playing their favorite games soon.