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Still No Poker in PA

Poker players are lighting up social media asking when Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (l.) will allow casinos to reopen poker rooms, which remained closed when the state permitted casinos to reopen following the Covid-19 shutdown.

Poker players are using social media to appeal to Pennsylvania state officials to allow casinos to reopen poker rooms.

When Governor Tom Wolf allowed casinos to reopen at reduced capacity following the Covid-19 shutdown in June, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board stipulated that poker rooms would not be permitted to reopen, because of players handling cards and chips. The situation was to be monitored for updates to the policy.

After not only social media appeals but actual calls to the gaming board appealing for poker to return, Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbaugh released a statement to the Play Pennsylvania news site reading:

“There has been no alteration to the casino reopening protocols released by the Gaming Control Board in May in which poker rooms were not authorized to operate. At the same time, this guideline can be reexamined based on health experts’ guidance. Should casinos wish to explore reopening a casino room, they would need to provide plans to do so safely which would be reviewed by the board on a case-by-case basis.”

With all casinos now open for business at 50 percent capacity, none has submitted plans to the board to reopen poker.

“The casinos want to walk before they run,” Harbach said, “and make sure they are getting the venue open and then move on to opening up other areas once they know the protocols are working well.”

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