Despite the fact that online gaming has been on a roll in the Keystone State, there is still a significant amount of interest in live poker. Since casinos in the state went into a temporary shutdown in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, these poker rooms have not been in operation. Even now when several retail gaming and entertainment operations have reopened albeit under strict safety protocols, the live poker rooms have not received the green light to resume operations.
At the reopened gaming venues, both patrons and employees are to wear masks and maintain enough social distancing space. Moreover, there is enhanced cleaning at the venues. Now, when it comes to poker, there is a bit of complication in this regard owing to the fact that poker players will need to handle cards and chips.
While these are certainly genuine and justifiable concerns, a lot of pressure is mounting on the authorities. For instance, poker players in the state have recently taken to social media to inquire about when they may be able to enjoy live poker gaming again.
Continuous Monitoring and Adjustment
When the plans to reopen gaming and entertainment facilities were conceptualized some of the key components revolved around a gradual process that would involve monitoring of related data. This would then be followed by appropriate adjustments which would also be in alignment with guidelines issued by the CDC and the state’s Department of Health.
Speaking on the issue, Doug Harbach, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s Director of Communications affirmed that they have taken every important detail into account. He points out that should any casino in the state want to reopen a live poker room, it would be required to provide comprehensive details on the safety measures that will be in place. The board would then need to review these plans on a case-by-case basis.
That said, Pennsylvania live poker lovers may have to wait a little longer for things to get better or for new measures to come into play. Unfortunately, there are currently no estimated timelines for this.
Even though there is hope that multiple live poker rooms will resume operations down the line, there are reports that there is one that may not return. Harrah’s Philadelphia’s live poker room has reportedly been permanently closed. Some of the poker room’s current and former employees broke the news on social media after getting the information earlier this month. Needless to say, this is a pretty big deal especially considering the popularity of the venue.
No official statement has been released just yet but hopefully, more clarifications will be made on the issue in the coming days, or weeks.