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Pennsylvania Casinos Reopen

Pennsylvania’s 13 casinos were given the go-ahead to reopen January 4 by Governor Tom Wolf (l.). A state-imposed shutdown began December 12 as Covid-19 cases surged.

Most of Pennsylvania’s casinos reopened last week, after Governor Tom Wolf gave the OK for gaming halls to reopen at 50 percent capacity, with Covid-19 mitigation rules in place.

The casinos had been closed since December 12, when Wolf responded to a surge in Covid-19 cases by closing casinos and imposing bans on social gatherings and indoor dining at restaurants.

All Covid-19 health and safety protocols remain in place, including masks or approved face-coverings, temperature checks, and social distancing for guests and employees.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia, which has been closed since November under a city order, will reopen January 15 under a subsequent city order. The city’s second casino, Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia, is slated to open February 11.

Penn National Gaming, which had continued live racing at its Penn National Race Course while the adjacent Hollywood Casino was closed, reopened all its Pennsylvania properties January 4.

“With what are perhaps the most rigorous Covid mitigation measures of any business in the commonwealth, we are pleased to welcome both our customers and more than 1,000 team members back to our facilities,” Penn National Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations Eric Schippers told the Penn Live news site after Wolf’s order was announced.

“For Pennsylvanians who enjoy casino gaming, we know that having patrons back in the commonwealth’s highly regulated casinos is safer than having Pennsylvanians travel to out-of-state casinos or patronize illegal skill slot machine locations where there is no regulatory or Covid safety monitoring.”

“We especially want to thank our team members, guests and the Pittsburgh community for their support throughout 2020,” said Rivers Casino General Manager Bill Keena in a press release. “We have every reason to expect 2021 will be a better year, and by continuing our focus on safety, we’re looking forward to a healthy, happy new year for all.”

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