Land-based casinos in Pennsylvania have been given the go-ahead from the Governor and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to reopen.
On March 17th, all casinos were ordered to shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many employees lost their jobs and the state's economy suffered massive losses in the casino industry.
After two months of no business, casinos were given the go-ahead to open to the public. Pennsylvania is broken down by county, which saw many casinos having to wait a lot longer than others to re-open.
As of today, all casinos in PA are listed under the green phase.
Since casinos had to close doors in March due to the pandemic, PA suffered a huge blow in revenue brought in by casino gambling.
For the first time in history, the PGCB recorded $0 from slots and table games, a -100% difference from 2019. While the brick and mortars were suffering, online casinos brought in double the revenue from March at $55 million.
Online casinos, as well as sportsbooks, have kept the gambling industry alive in the state during the global pandemic.
June 9th, saw the first brick and mortar reopen its doors to PA residents. The Meadows Casino and Rivers Pittsburgh were first, followed by Lady Luck Nemacolin a few days later.
At the time of writing, all land-based casinos in PA have officially reopened and must abide by a list of safety regulations put in place by the PGCB.
In order for casinos to remain open for business and avoid the spread of COVID-19, the PGCB announced a long list of rules that must be followed by patrons and operators.
The Executive Director of the PGCB, Kevin O'Toole said in a press release:
"We believe this plan will be effective in mitigating and reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for all employees, patrons, and other guests. As conditions throughout the Commonwealth improve and the reopening of casinos is authorized, the PGCB desires to assure (those) reopenings occur in a manner which promotes the safety of casino patrons and employees alike as well as assure an environment conducive to proper regulatory oversight."
In a 10 page document by the PGCB outlining the new safety regulations, the most important rules include:
To make sure everyone is social distancing in the casino, and that health precautions are followed, employees must also look after the following:
So far, no casinos have been required to shut down since being allowed to reopen.
The state of PA monitors the amount of newly registered COVID-19 cases by checking cases reported per 100,000 people in a county, and hospitalization statistics.
There are still multiple counties in the state that have not been allowed out of lockdown, with people required to remain at home until further noted.
Gov Tom Wolf has recently put in place new restrictions for bars and restaurants to carry out for safety reasons, including no alcohol being served.
A few casinos have had to abide by this new rule, but those that offer food are able to continue serving alcoholic drinks.