The state of Pennsylvania has slowly been reopening as restrictions regarding the coronavirus shutdown have been lifted. The last remaining casino to do so is the Rivers Casino Philadelphia. This venue will be back in business on Friday, July 17, with new changes in place for a safer and healthy environment.
Expect a Different Gaming Environment
Players who visit the Rivers Casino should expect a very different environment. The hours will be shortened with Monday to Thursday being 9 to 5 and Friday to Monday, the property open 24 hours a day.
There will be no drinking allowed and no smoking inside the casino. Like the other venues, the casino will operate at a limited capacity. Temperature checks will take place and masks are mandatory. Guests and employees must wear masks at all times.
Social distancing measures are in place and employees will be working to ensure that players follow these protocols. Enhanced air cleaning is planned to help with any virus contamination as well as a deep cleaning of surfaces.
The majority of the casino gaming floor will be open. The BetRivers Sportsbook is included in the opening. Slot machines will be separated by plexiglass or alternating their operation to ensure players are not close together.
Blackjack tables offer no more than three positions while baccarat is limited to four players. The casino is using plexiglass in these areas as well to separate the players and the dealer. For games where players stand at the table, like roulette and craps, plexiglass will also be utilized.
Like other casinos, the Rivers facility will not allow poker gaming. It seems casinos in high case areas are not offering poker as it is too hard to conduct games in a safe manner. Players share cards and chips which increases the potential to spread the virus.
Controlling the Entry
For the Rivers Casino, the customer counter at the North Entrance of the facility is controlling the occupancy level. Valet parking is not an option and only VIP pass holders can access the parking garage. For guests and employees, the facility will have temperature check points set up upon entering. Anyone with a temperature reading of 100.4 degrees or higher will be denied entry.
Because of the capacity levels, the casino only called back around half of its workforce. The casino employees 1,700 individuals. More employees will return to the property once the casino is able to offer more amenities or the capacity percentage is increased.
The casino will reopen at 9am on Friday and it will be interesting to see if players will be lined up to enter or if casino goers are restricting themselves to gaming due to the virus still being a problem.
The coronavirus continues to be a problem across the US. In some regions, casinos are having to shut down to deal with cleaning needs as employees are testing positive. Some states are even walking back their reopening plans due to the continued increase in Covid-19 patients.
It may be quite some time before we see any kind of normalcy when it comes to casino gaming in the states. For now, players have to use caution and follow guidelines to stay safe if attempting to visit a casino property.