Live poker is now back up and running in Pennsylvania. A number of land-based casinos in the state have recently begun accepting poker players, with enhanced safety measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The poker room at Rivers Casino Philadelphia resumed operations on October 23, initially opening 14 tables.
For the time being, the venue is offering a limited number of games, and each table can only accommodate up to seven players.
New measures are also being implemented to ensure that the room remains a safe place for all players and staff.
All individuals entering the establishment are required to wear face masks, and it will be strictly enforced, with designated personnel and security tasked to monitor full compliance.
Hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes are also now readily available throughout the room. Plexiglass dividers have been installed between dealers and players, and in specific transaction areas, including cage counters. Food consumption and smoking are prohibited inside the room; they are allowed in a designated outdoor area near the valet entrance.
Additionally, the poker cage is limited to just buy-ins at the moment. Cash outs are conducted at the main cage on the casino floor. Due to the limited table capacity, players wishing to join games should reserve a seat via phone call to the room’s host stand. They may check the availability of seats through the Bravo Poker App.
Over at the Mohegan Sun Pocono, live poker has been back in action since October 16. Mohegan Sun is also implementing mandatory wearing of face masks, and is conducting temperature checks upon entry of guests and team members. The casino has also put in place plexiglass partitions in all areas where transactions often take place.
To minimize the risk of contracting the virus, the poker room is currently using plastic poker cards which are replaced every six hours. Security team will also perform regular disinfection of used cards, and players are advised to use hand sanitizers before and after playing.
The Mount Airy Casino as well as the Meadows Poker Room have also reopened, operating at reduced capacity. Both rooms are also implementing mandatory wearing of face masks. Mount Airy is currently offering seven-handed games, while the Meadows is initially running cash games and will not be hosting poker tournaments just yet.
888poker, WSOP.com Expected to Enter PA
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s online poker market is set to welcome new players, signaling an end to PokerStars PA’s monopoly. 888Holdings, the company that operates the 888poker site, has already obtained license to offer online poker in the Keystone State. It has an ongoing partnership with WSOP.com which is owned by Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE).
CIE already holds a PA license; thus, both 888poker and WSOP.com can now operate in Pennsylvania, meaning PokerStars PA will face more competition very soon.