Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Will Reopen First in Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania is slowing getting back to normal after a complete shut down due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The coronavirus is still an issue across the United States, but individual states are slowly allowing non-essential businesses to reopen, including casinos. In Pennsylvania, the Rivers Casino Pittsburgh will be the first to reopen with a date set for June 9.

Ready to Go

The Rivers Casino Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County and was able to move to the green phase by the 5th of June. It is in the green phase that casinos are allowed to reopen. The casino will be the first in the state to welcome guests back, starting today.

According to Bill Keena, the General Manager of the casino, they are ready to get back to work. Keena stated that what is being seen today is different than from two weeks ago when the machines and signs were turned off and the facility was dark. It was eerie according to the general manager, a surreal thing to see.

When visitors come back to the casino today, they will find a different experience than before. For starters, the casino will only operate 9 am to 4am on the weekdays and 9am to 4am Friday to money. The casino usually is open 24/7.

Keena commented on the new hours, stating that the hours are new for everyone and it is going to be a learning experience. The casino worked closely with the state Gaming Control Board and they may need to change the hours after a week. If the demand is there, then the casino can be open for longer hours.

When the casino is closed, the property will undergo a deep cleaning as well as sanitizing process. Many casinos are utilizing a closed period to complete cleaning so that the spread of the coronavirus can remain low.

Plans for Health and Safety

The casino was able to meet he coronavirus casino reopening protocols set by the Gaming Control Board that were released on May 19. The casinos in the state are allowed to operate at 50% capacity until they are notified otherwise by the board. The guidelines of the board are thorough and include guests and employees wearing masks along with no poker gaming. Sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer will also be available on the gaming floor.

For the Pittsburgh casino, the property has initiated the Rivers Clean initiative. The plan is to conduct a rigorous cleaning as well as disinfecting of the property via a program that will stop the spread of the virus. In the past, an Environmental Services Team worked a traditional shift and cleaned the casino. The new team is now larger and will have overlapping shifts so that the casino can be cleaned continuously.

The group will use EPA approved disinfectants as well as commercial cleaning equipment during their rounds. Before the casino reopened, it was subject to a deep cleaning process where 2,608 slot games were disinfected along with 220,000 chips.

According to Keena, the company reexamined their operation entirely and gave extra care to areas where guests and team members interact. Job number one is to preserve the health and well-being of the community. This is the mission of the Rivers Clean team as well as everyone else according to Keena.

We shall see how the Rivers Casino fares upon reopening today and if players are willing the make the trip. The process is new to everyone so there will most likely be bumps along the way. The casino has their guidelines listed and employees prepared to help as they get back to work.


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