Pennsylvania Casinos Announce Reopenings, as State Counties Enter ‘Green Phase’
Posted on: June 8, 2020, 10:59h.
Last updated on: June 8, 2020, 11:55h.
Three Pennsylvania casinos are reopening this week that are located in counties in the “green phase” of Governor Tom Wolf’s (D) reopening plan.
All 12 land-based casinos in Pennsylvania have been shuttered since March 16, as Wolf ordered all nonessential businesses to close. Keystone State gamblers have been limited to online casinos since. But that will change this week.
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh will be the first to reopen, the venue welcoming back guests beginning tomorrow morning, June 9, at 9 a.m. The Meadows Casino will follow three hours later at noon, and Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin on Friday, June 12, at 10 a.m.
All three casinos are located in the southwestern part of the state. The three counties where the properties are located entered the state’s green phase on June 5.
In green, gatherings of up to 250 people are permitted, restaurants and bars are allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity, and all entertainment venues – including casinos – can resume operations at 50 percent capacity.
Restrictions in Place
Pennsylvania has more than 80,000 COVID-19 cases and some 6,000 deaths. That ranks the Keystone State as the sixth-most-infected coronavirus state.
However, the majority of the cases have been reported in the eastern part of the state. New York and New Jersey rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the number of coronavirus cases.
With COVID-19 seemingly under control in Western Pennsylvania, Wolf is allowing gaming operations to resume. They’re doing so with numerous health safety measures in place.
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh was the top casino in the western part of Pennsylvania last year, gaming win totaling $392 million. Rivers says come tomorrow, guests will find more than 100 hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipe stations across the gaming floor.
The casino will require everyone to wear face masks, and poker will remain closed. But table games will be open with modifications. Blackjack will be limited to three players, four for roulette, and six at craps. Smoking will be permitted, but not while seated at a table game.
The Meadows says every other slot machine will be disabled, and table game seating will be limited. Masks are required. Lady Luck has yet to announce specifics on its June 12 reopening.
Nine Others Wait
Parx Casino near Philadelphia and Wind Creek Bethlehem on the eastern border of the state took the top two spots in terms of 2019 gross gaming revenue (GGR) – the venues respectively winning $639.4 million and $522.1 million.
Park and Wind Creek, along with the seven other casinos in Pennsylvania, are in counties still in the yellow phase, where all entertainment businesses must keep their doors locked. Twenty-one of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania remain in yellow.
The three Philadelphia area casinos – Parx, Rivers Casino Philadelphia, and Harrah’s Philadelphia – were responsible for more than $1.2 billion of the state’s $3.4 billion gaming revenue haul last year.
The state is losing tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue during the casino shutdown. Of every dollar won by each slot machine, 54 cents is returned to Pennsylvanians by way of taxes.
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