Pennsylvania Casinos Weigh Masks or No Masks After Latest CDC Guidance

Last week, the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) provided new guidance regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The new regulations are that people who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear a mask indoors or outdoors. For states across the US, public health departments are reporting the new CDC guidelines and giving businesses the option to require people to wear masks if they so choose. For casinos in Pennsylvania, the venues have the ability to keep players masked or allow visitors to take it off. Since the announcement late last week, casinos in the Keystone state have been deciding which path to take regarding mask-wearing.

No Masks Needed

Several casino operators have already decided that they are not requiring masks for fully vaccinated guests. The Meadows, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, Valley Forge, Harrah’s, and Wind Creek are all on the same page.

Most of these operators have created social media posts discussing the new guidelines. They state that any guest who is fully vaccinated does not have to wear a mask. Those who are not will need to cover their nose and mouth with a mask when visiting.

While this guidance is important, it is also a bit confusing. Mask wearing has unfortunately become somewhat of a political issue. Those who are not vaccinated are usually the same people who are not wearing masks, to begin with. So, can the casinos trust that people who are visiting and now wearing a mask, are in fact, vaccinated?

In most scenarios, I would say no. If the casinos plan to enforce the rule about mask-wearing and vaccination status, will they ask for proof of vaccination? It is still unclear at this point. However, when the vaccination process began, it was suggested that fully vaccinated individuals hold on to their cards to show proof of vaccination if it was ever needed.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh Requires Masks

For the Live! Casino Pittsburgh venue, the operator has decided to continue to require mask-wearing. In a Facebook post, the casino said they are aware of the guidelines that the CDC issued last week. The casino wants to focus on the safety and health of employees and guests, so they will continue to require mask-wearing.

The casino will alert the public if and when this policy changes. It seems to be one of the only operators in the state that is requiring masks for everyone. This decision might be one that affects the casino negatively, unfortunately, as most people do not want to wear a mask at all.

It will be interesting to see if the maskless casinos will have more visitors than the Live! venue. Could it be that patrons are already used to wearing masks so it won’t be a big deal? Or will travelers be more willing to go to other locations where masks are not required?

Already on the Live! Facebook post, there are negative comments asking the operator to get with the times. It may be that the casino changes the policy soon in order to avoid a decrease in player traffic.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.