The past year or so has been incredibly tough for the retail gambling sector in Pennsylvania and the United States as a whole. However, after several months of speculation about when things could get back to normal, the country is finally ready to take things to the next step. One by one states have been slowly easing businesses and their residents to normalcy.
On Tuesday, May 11, Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania announced that the state will lift all of the existing COVID-19 restrictions except for mask-wearing, on May 31. This year’s Memorial Day will certainly be much different for the state’s residents especially those that are fans of casino gambling. With those restrictions lifted, the state’s casinos will be able to expand their presently limited capacities to 100 percent. In addition to that, there will no longer be any limits at bars or restaurants which have also been subject to the same restrictions.
Preparations in Progress
As expected, the gambling operators in the state have been making the necessary preparations to meet the demand once everything resumes on Memorial Day. For instance, with the new capacity limits, drink service returning and an increasing number of people getting vaccinations, Pennsylvania casinos have been actively hiring. Upping their recruitment efforts is a sign that this could be a good thing for the residents since they will now also be getting back their jobs.
Philadelphia to Follow Shortly After
After the governor’s announcement, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley did not indicate if the city of Philadelphia would follow suit. Initially, he said that they would review the state’s plan. However, on Wednesday, Philadelphia City Council members chided the commissioner for not setting a reopening date. Rivers Casino Philadelphia and Live! Casino Philadelphia are within the city’s limits and subject to its rules.
That said, the City of Philadelphia announced that it would lift most of the COVID-19 restrictions just as the state did. However, this will happen later on June 11 instead of May 31. Meanwhile, the City’s casinos can increase their capacity on Friday, May 21. The same will also apply to stadiums – the Philadelphia Sixers and the Philadelphia Phillies, for instance, can have 50% capacity at Wells Fargo Center and Citizens Bank Park.
“We are thrilled by the City’s decision to increase capacity to 50-percent in time for the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Our fans have created the most passionate and intense atmosphere in the NBA and it gives us the type of home-court advantage our players can feed off of in the postseason.”The Sixers president of business operations Chris Heck.
At the stadiums, they must enforce a minimum of three feet of distance between persons of different groups, and masks are still required.