Pennsylvania Casinos Instructed to Close until January 4

Pennsylvania’s 12 land-based casinos were ordered to close on Saturday as part of the state’s strict new coronavirus restrictions.

Pennsylvania’s 12 land-based casinos were ordered to close on Saturday as part of the state’s strict new coronavirus restrictions.

Not long after testing positive for COVID-19, Pennsylvania Governer Tom Wolf introduced strict coronavirus restrictions on various businesses, including a ban on commercial gambling. Wolf explained that he aimed to “stop the devastating spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, “keep our hospitals and healthcare workers from becoming overwhelmed” and “help Pennsylvanians get through the holiday season — and closer to a widely available vaccine — as safely as possible”.

Rivers Casino in Philadelphia was forced to close November 20 on city orders and the other 12 gaming venues in the state were ordered to follow suit on Saturday:

  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
  • Lady Luck Nemacolin
  • Live! Casino Pittsburgh
  • Meadows Casino and Racetrack
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono
  • Mount Airy Casino Resort
  • Parx Casino
  • Presque Isle Racetrack and Casino
  • Rivers Pittsburgh
  • Valley Forge Casino and Resort
  • Wind Creek Bethlehem

This is a huge blow to the Pennsylvania economy, with land-based casino venues bringing in billions of dollars each year. Pennsylvania is the nation’s third-largest gaming market behind Nevada and New Jersey so this decision by Wolf will not have been made lightly.

However, one positive for Pennsylvania is that online gaming and mobile sports betting will continue during the land-based casino closures. The earliest the land-based venues are allowed to reopen is January 4 at 8 am ET.

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