The coronavirus is taking a toll on businesses around the world as consumers are choosing to stay home rather than be out and about. Many local governments have shut down services that are not essential, which includes casino venues. Because of the spread of the virus, casinos are starting to close up shop and poker events are either being cancelled altogether or postponed. Many operations will be closed for two weeks or more due to trying to contain the virus.
There are several major casinos that closed down over the past few days that are associated with poker gaming. Included in the mix are the Rivers Casinos in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Also closed in the Key Stone State is the Parx Casino. In California, the Commerce card room is shut down and in the middle of the nation, Illinois has decided to close all of their casinos beginning this Monday.
Over the past few days, major live tournament providers like the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour, have announced postponements or event cancellations. The WSOPC Hard Rock Tulsa was already in full swing but organizers decided to halt the series beginning this Monday. Tournaments that will not take place include the Main Event. The Heartland Poker Tour has cancelled an April tournament stop at the Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg near Cincinnati.
In Illinois, the state’s Gaming Board decided to shutdown casinos completely. All ten of the gaming venues in the region will no longer offer services after March 16th. The goal is to stop offering poker and casino gaming, in the hope that consumers will stay home and avoid spreading or catching the coronavirus.
WSOP Circuit Hit Hard
Several events on the World Series of Poker Circuit have been cancelled with the tour hit hard due to the coronavirus. The Bicycle Casino & Hotel have cancelled the tournaments that remain during their scheduled WSOPC stop. The series just began on March 7th.
The WSOPC at Harrah’s Atlantic City was cancelled along with the tour stop at the Harrah’s Cherokee for April. Bally’s in Las Vegas was supposed to host a circuit stop later on this month, but that event was postponed. When it will be rescheduled is yet to be seen.
The poker community, like casinos, have seen events halted due to the rapid spread of the virus. The game of poker is a social one and with players touching chips and cards, plus sitting so close together, it would be easy to spread the virus.
Many of the casinos that closed in the US and decided to postpone poker events did so due to state government orders. Governors across the nation are issuing decrees so that non-essential businesses like entertainment venues are closed, avoiding any large gatherings of people.
While the land-based events are not taking place currently, players still have access to online gaming, but only in certain states. New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware and Pennsylvania all offer iPoker and should see an increase in activity as players are staying at home.