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First Pennsylvania casinos reopen after Covid-19 shutdown


Rivers Casino and the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Pennsylvania have both reopened after a period of temporary closure enforced by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf last week announced plans for some counties in the state to move to the ‘green phase’, with certain Covid-19 restrictions to be relaxed in these areas.

Some 34 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties have now advanced to the green phase of state’s reopening strategy, including three areas in which land-based casinos are based. Casinos in these counties can reopen and operate at 50% capacity.

As such, Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, began welcoming players again from yesterday (June 9), while Meadows in North Strabane Township, Washington, has reopened.

Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington, Fayette County, is also set to resume activities from June 12.

All casinos will be required to operate in line with new measures set out by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) last month.

In addition to running at capacity, these measures state that all staff and patrons must wear masks when inside a casino, sanitizer stations should be installed at each entrance to the property and casinos must enhance their cleaning protocols throughout each facility.

Other measures include encouraging social distancing by placing floor markings, installing a plexiglass barrier between slot terminals and spacing out customers when seated at gaming tables.

Poker rooms cannot operate for the foreseeable future due to the amount of contact between players and their chips and cards, but sportsbooks can reopen if configured in a manner to promote social distancing and a high level of hygiene.

Pennsylvania becomes the latest state to permit casinos to reopen after a period of temporary closure, with the likes of Nevada, Michigan, Missouri and Louisiana having also relaxed certain Covid-19 restrictions.