Casinos in Pennsylvania have been opened since June, but live poker has been much slower to come back to PA’s retail casinos. That all changed on Friday when poker rooms reopened on Friday, with poker rooms reopening at Mount Airy and Mohegan Sun Pocono.
The Mount Airy Casino poker room — which happens to hold an online poker license that operates PokerStars — was the first open up their games at noon. The Mohegan Sun Pocono also opened at approximately the same time.
And good news for poker players, it won’t be the last PA poker rooms to go live this month. There are nine poker rooms in the state, and a third will reopen by the end of October. The Meadows Casino has plans to reopen its poker room on October 23rd. The state’s other poker rooms have yet to release information on when they will reopen.
Safety policies are in place
Despite that poker rooms are reopening in the state, the coronavirus pandemic is still a major concern as cases continue to rise in the country. As part of the reopening plan for poker rooms, each are introducing a variety of safety policies to meet local requirements and to make the games safer.
Last month, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board requested that poker rooms submit tenative reopening plans. Requirements for poker rooms include policies that will be familiar to PA citizens and some that may take some getting used to:
- Plexiglass dividers between players and dealers
- Players and employees are required to wear masks
- Tables will be limited to no more than 7 players
- No food is allowed
- Gloves can be used by players
- Cleaning schedule must be provided
- No spectators at poker rooms
Online poker is still an option
Even though some poker rooms are reopening, some players may continue to decide to stay home for now. Fortunately for PA poker players, Pennsylvania is one of a few states that has legalized online poker.
There is currently only one online poker room that is operating, but it’s a behemoth — PokerStars, which has been operating in the state for around a year. It attracts hundreds of real money players simultaneously and just recently completed its popular PA Championship of Online Poker, which generated over $2 million in prizes.
If you are looking for another option, you may not have to wait too much longer. Both partypoker and 888 through the WSOP.com brand are rumored to be launching online poker rooms soon.