Pennsylvania casinos will be able to reopen on January 4 when the state-mandated three-week non-essential business closure expires.
Governor Tom Wolf announced Wednesday that he will not extend the temporary restrictions beyond Monday because the number of new Covid-19 cases has dropped since they were enforced nearly three weeks ago.
Casinos, theaters, concert halls, gambling halls, private clubs, bowling alleys, and other entertainment businesses were ordered to temporarily cease operations from 12:01 am on December 12 to 8:00 am on January 4. Governor Wolf issued his order as the number of new coronavirus cases soared across the state.
Pennsylvania casinos and other closed entertainment venues will still have to follow a list of rules when they reopen Monday. Its operations will be restricted to 50% of your interior occupancy limits. Casino patrons will be required to wear masks in the gaming room and practice social distancing.
The latest shutdown was heavily protested by Pennsylvania casinos. State gaming venues were closed for months during the first wave of the coronavirus earlier this year. Nine casino executives wrote a letter to Governor Wolf earlier this month asking him to reconsider his decision to once again shut down the state’s gambling venues, as another shutdown would seriously affect one of the industries. “Largest and most successful” Pennsylvania that generates $ 1.5 billion in annual tax revenue.
Several casinos confirm reopening on January 4
At least three casinos will resume operations the same day the temporary restrictions are lifted. Penn National Gaming confirmed Wednesday that its Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course and The Meadows Casino & Racetrack They will reopen next Monday.
The company’s Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations, Eric Schippers, said Wednesday that having Pennsylvania casino customers return to the state’s “highly regulated casinos is safer than having Pennsylvanians travel to casinos from other states or sponsor illegal slot machine locations where there is no regulatory or Covid security check. ”
The newest casino in the state, Live! Pittsburgh Casino it is too preparing to reopen its doors. Property officials announced it would resume operations Monday at 8:01 a.m.
Maryland-based developer The Cordish Companies launched Live! Casino on November 24. The property is located in the former Bon-Ton department store at Westmoreland Mall in Westmoreland County. The casino has 750 online slot machines and 30 table games.
Property officials said “They couldn’t be happier” with its first 18 days of operations before the state-mandated shutdown and the lifting of restrictions means more than 500 employees will be able to return to work.