Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board releases Casino reopening protocols

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board releases Casino reopening protocols

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has issued reopening protocols for casinos and other entertainment properties that have been looking forward to reopen following prolonged lockdowns caused by corona virus pandemic.

The state gaming regulator said all casinos will have to strictly implement all guidelines and safeguards prior to welcoming guests back to their properties. The entertainment properties are being forced to implement safety measures strictly to ensure public health in anticipation of reopening.

All casinos in the state, including Mohegan Sun Pocono, suspended their operations in mid-March in accordance with Governor Tom Wolf’s “stay-at-home” order. Any entertainment property will not be allowed to resume operations until the state enters the so-called “green” phase. In the meantime, PGCB is issuing minimum health safety protocols that each and every gaming facility will have to incorporate to prevent corona virus from spreading further.

PGCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole stressed that while conditions throughout the state have improved and the reopening of casinos is authorized, the gaming regulator wants to assure that reopening of casinos occur in a phased manner to promote the safety of patrons as well as employees.

Issuing reopening protocols, the state gaming regulator added, “We fully anticipate that we will work together to rebuild this industry to again be a leading economic engine for Pennsylvania and to restore the first-rate entertainment facilities each of our Licensees have developed.”

The corona virus pandemic has dealt the casino industry an unanticipated and unparalleled blow over the previous couple of months. The state gaming board has assured that it remains committed to assist each of the state’s licensed casinos to reopen in a safe and efficient manner.

In casinos, non-gaming areas like registration desks, bars, elevators, lobbies and entrances will have to be sanitized and clearly marked off to ensure that gamers keep a safe distance from others. All casino employees as well as guests will have to wear face mask. The casino operators may also provide employees with additional protective equipment such as gloves. In addition, casino workers will get training on safety and disinfection protocols. Slot machines will be wiped down or sanitized before playing, while poker games will not be available during the initial reopening phase.

Pennsylvania’s twelve brick-and-mortar casinos earned roughly $278 million through slot and table games during the month of April last year. That figure tumbled to $0 in April this year as the casinos were closed due to COVID-19 pandemic. Internet gambling, however, helped offset a fraction of those hefty losses. As per available data, online casinos pulled in $43 million through slot and table games.

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