After a long seven months of casinos being prohibited from offering live poker, operators are preparing to reopen the poker rooms. 

A few PA casinos are expected to be offering live poker tables again by October 16th (2020), as soon as the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) gives the final thumbs up.

The rest will follow over the coming weeks.  

The COVID-19 pandemic forced all land-based casinos to shut their doors in March, but were able to get back to business again this past June. 

Casinos had to take much stricter precautions to prevent spreading the virus and the PGCB put out new rules operators had to follow in order to remain open. 

This included keeping poker rooms closed until further notice. 

Even in sister state New Jersey, poker rooms have been closed and have no plans, as of now, to reopen. 

What Casinos Will Have Poker Back First? 

So far, there are only a few casinos that have confirmed when they will reopen the poker rooms. 

Mohegan Sun Pocono and Mount Airy Casino are the first in line. Both operators are planning to start poker again by October 16th. 

Out of the two, Mount Airy is larger offering 12 tables, while Mohegan Sun Pocono offers 8.

To find out about the other casino's poker rooms in PA and when they plan to reopen, check out our table below. 

Casino # of Poker Tables Planned Date to Reopen Poker Rooms
Mount Airy Casino 12 October 16th, 2020
Mohegan Sun Pocono  8

October 16th, 2020

The Meadows  14 October 23rd, 2020
Parx Casino 80 November
Wind Creek Bethlehem 26 TBA
Rivers Casino Philadelphia 28 TBA
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh 30  TBA

Presque Isles Downs

7 TBA

Hollywood Casino 

17 TBA

PokerStars to the Rescue 

While casinos and poker rooms have remained closed for half a year, online poker has come in as the only option for players looking to get their poker fix. 

PokerStars is the sole online poker platform in PA so far and has been operating in the state for almost a year now. 

Users can go back and forth between poker and casino games on the site, and participate in numerous tournaments. 

Since the lockdown started in March, PokerStars did see a rise in users over the summer. 

However, many players are ready to get back to the real poker tables. 

New Safety Precautions at PA Casinos

The majority of land-based casinos in Pennsylvania are operating again, but not the same as before. 

The PGCB has outlined COVID-19 protocols operators must abide by until otherwise noted, including: 

  • Operate at half the capacity 
  • Social distancing 
  • No smoking on the casino floor 
  • No beverages on the casino floor 
  • Masks must be worn by employees at all times

In order for a poker room to start operating again, the PGCB must approve the venue's safety protocols plan. 

Find out more about the new COVID-19 casino reopening protocols by the PGCB, here