This is a developing story. PlayPennsylvania has contacted various PA casinos for comment and is awaiting a response. We will update as more information becomes available.
It will be very different Memorial Day for Pennsylvania Casinos this year. Last year, at the unofficial start of summer, all casinos were closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Tom Wolf said on Tuesday that Pennsylvania lift all COVID-19 restrictions, except for wearing masks in public on Memorial Day.
Pennsylvania casinos can expand capacity to 100%. In addition, there will be no limits to bars or restaurants.
The key word here, for now, is “can. When the state started with arrest orders last March, the Pennsylvania Games Control Board ordered the state’s remaining open casinos to close in mid-March. Prior to the reopening, the Council released the COVID-19 reopening protocols.
What PA Casinos will choose to do in terms of added capacity and the extra steps they put in place such as plexiglass that remains to be seen. It has been a day since Governor Wolf’s announcement and there is no doubt that there are internal discussions taking place as of this writing.
Following Wolf’s announcement, the Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas farley did not indicate whether the city of Philadelphia cream followed suit and declared that they would examine the state plan. However, on Wednesday, Philadelphia City Council members berated Farley for do not set a reopening date. Rivers Casino Philadelphia and Live! Philadelphia Casino are within the city limits and subject to its rules.
Long road to Pennsylvania casinos
The coronavirus pandemic shut down casinos in Pennsylvania for a third of the year in 2020. It has had a devastating impact on the 20,000 PA casino employees, as well as the revenues of casinos and state tax offices.
Timeline of Pennsylvania Casino Closures for COVID
- 12th of March: Pennsylvania’s first casino closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
- June 9: The first two casinos have reopened in the state – Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and The Meadows.
- July 17: Rivers Casino Philadelphia, the only casino still closed, has resumed operations
- 12 dec.: Casinos Ordered To Close For At Least Three Weeks Due To Rising Cases And Hospitalizations
- January 4, 2021: PA casinos have reopened
However, even when the casinos reopened in the summer and then again in January, they were not allowed to serve alcohol in the game room or offer seats at the bar.
It wasn’t until April 4 that Pennsylvania relaxed those restrictions.
- Casino capacity in AP increased by 50% to 75%.
- Restaurants bar service resumed.
- Authorized alcohol service without the purchase of food.
- the curfew to remove alcoholic beverages from tables was survey.
Atlantic City casinos are all present on Memorial Day
Towards Atlantic City or at the beaches of New Jersey this summer? New Jersey is end of restrictions from May 19 and some changes will take effect this weekend.
For Atlantic City casinos, this means full capacity is back on the table. Restaurants, bars, retail stores, swimming pools and spas have also been given the green light to lift capacity limits. Starting Friday, people can again sit in a bar or eat at the New Jersey buffet.
Pennsylvania casinos on a recruiting frenzy
With expanded capacity limits, the return of beverage service, and an increasing number of people fully vaccinated, Pennsylvania casinos are actively recruiting.
Last week, Valley Forge Casino organized a job fair. Many of the state’s casinos have stepped up their recruiting efforts with social media ads.
PA in the Top 5 of the vaccine
According to CDC, as of May 5, around 42% of Pennsylvanians over 18 are fully vaccinated. With 8.8 million blows given so far, PA ranks fifth in the United States for the total doses administered,
How long will the masks be needed?
the PA Department of Health said the current order requiring Pennsylvanians to wear masks will be lifted when 70% of Pennsylvanians aged 18 and over are fully immunized.
Acting Secretary of the Ministry of Health Alison beam mentionned:
“We continue to make significant progress in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 and as more adults in Pennsylvania get vaccinated and CDC advice evolves, we can continue to move forward. ‘forward with our reopening efforts. I encourage Pennsylvanians to take the critical steps necessary to end this pandemic by getting vaccinated, to follow both doses if you are receiving Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, and to continue to take measures such as masking, washing and frequent hand disinfection and social distancing. “
Main image credit: AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar