Thanks to new directives from the state health authority and regulators in the Keystone State, several land-based gaming venues are now smoke-free. Many of the retail gaming operators have been preparing to launch while ensuring that they adhere to the guidelines provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
The Washington-based Meadows Racetrack & Casino is one of the casinos that has recently reopened its doors to patrons. In addition to having all of the new health and safety guidelines that were formulated as part of the efforts to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19, the retail casino is also now a “100 percent smoke-free facility.”
Bensalem-based Parx Casino, another popular retail gambling space in the state, also banned indoor smoking. This temporary directive is a bit of an extension of the casino’s previous stance on smoking – this was not allowed anywhere near the table games. Instead, the casino let the patrons enjoy their smoke at a designated space near its slot machines. Unfortunately, even that space will no longer be available for smokers. Instead, the casino has set aside an outdoor patio that sits near a beer garden for anyone who gets the urge to smoke. According to the casino’s management, the temporary move is meant to support the state’s mask-wearing mandate.
Hollywood Casino in Grantville has also been reported to have banned smoking after it received the directives from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Department of Health.
Presque Isle Downs & Casino has also jumped in stating that the temporary ban is part of the efforts to protect both their employees and visitors from the spread of COVID-19. Wind Creek has also done the same. They have both set aside designated outdoor areas where people can smoke.
Back in Business
From all that has been happening, it is quite clear that the casino operators were taking their time with the reopening process. The struggle to reopen amid the ongoing pandemic is still quite pronounced but it is very interesting that they are finding some pretty viable workarounds. Thanks to the efforts of the Gaming Control Board and the Department of Health, they have been able to draw up effective plans that will make it easier for things to return to normalcy.
While the reopening of several casino businesses in the state is certainly a good sign, there is still much that has to be done to ensure the protective measures and directives are followed to the dot. The rules that have been set for the retail gaming venues are certainly a huge part of the plans.