Pennsylvania casinos begin to reopen following temporary shutdown

Pennsylvania is the latest state to allow its casinos to reopen following the temporary closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meadows Racetrack and Casino and Rivers Casino in the state of Pennsylvania have both reopened after temporarily closing their doors to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Pennsylvania begins to ease lockdown

Last week, Governor Tom Wolf announced plans for some counties in the state to move to the “green phase” with certain coronavirus restrictions to be relaxed in these areas.

Following last week’s announcement, about 34 of the state’s 67 counties have advanced to the “green phase” of the state’s reopening strategy. Land-based casinos are based in three of these areas in the state and can reopen but must operate at 50% capacity.

Rivers and Meadows reopen

Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County reopened its doors on 9 June, while Meadows Racetrack and Casino in North Strabane Township, Washington, also reopened.

Other casinos in the state are expected to reopen in the coming weeks including Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington, Fayette County, which is set to reopen its doors from 12 June.

All casinos that reopen in the state will be required to operate in line with health and safety measures that were published by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) last month.

Casino reopening measures

As well as operating at 50% capacity, the measures set out by the PGCB state that all staff and customers must wear masks when inside a casino. On top of this hand sanitizer stations must be installed at each entrance the venue and casinos must enhance cleaning protocols at each venue.

Social distancing must also be encouraged by installing plexiglass barriers between slot machines, spacing out customers at table games and by using floor markings.

Poker rooms must remain closed for the foreseeable future due to the amount of contact between players and their cards and chips. However, sportsbooks can reopen if they are configured in way that promotes social distancing and hygiene measures implemented effectively.

Casinos reopen across the US

Elsewhere in the US, several states relaxed certain coronavirus restrictions allowing casinos to begin the process of reopening.

States such as Nevada, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Louisiana have allowed casinos to reopen, albeit with certain restrictions in place.

Century Casinos has reopened its Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort in the state of West Virginia. Century also reopened two of its casinos in Missouri as well as restaurant and off-track betting operations in Alberta, Canada.

In Nevada, MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment were among some of the operators in the state to reopen their casino properties last week. MGM also reopened its casinos in Mississippi towards the end of May.

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