It’s been a tough few weeks for the world and United States as it struggles against the coronavirus pandemic. Casinos were one of the latest dominos to fall when major casino hubs in Las Vegas and Atlantic City went dark. Included in the temporary closures were all 12 casinos in Pennsylvania.
Six casinos in the state had already chosen to close by the start of the week. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board then decided that all of the state’s casinos needed to close through a unilateral move in an effort to keep players safe and hopefully avoid the worst of the pandemic.
All PA casinos closed by March 17th
So when did each the PA casinos decide to make the difficult decision to shut their doors?
Valley Forge properties — which included the Oak Sports and Turf Club and Valley Forge Casino were the first to close on March 13th at 6 AM local time.
On Saturday, March 14th, Harrah’s Philadelphia shut its doors at 6 AM. This was followed by the South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook at 10 PM on March 14th.
Rush Street Interactive was next when they shut the doors of the Rivers Pittsburgh and Rivers Philadelphia (previously SugarHouse) at midnight on March 15th.
The Parx Casino and Wind Creek Bethlehem followed that with a closure that occurred at 6 AM on March 15th.
The casinos that remained opened were ordered to be shut down on March 17th at 6 AM. This included the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, the Mount Airy Casino Resort, Mohegan Sun Pocono, Lady Luck Nemocolin, Presque Isle Racetrack and Casino and the Meadows Casino and Racetrack.
There is no word yet on when casinos in the state could reopen, but the order is expected to last for at least two weeks, probably more.
Online gambling remains open
One silver lining for Pennsylvania’s casinos is that many casinos have opened online casinos over the last year, possibly easing some of the pain as a result of the mandatory closures. Currently, eight of PA’s casinos currently have online slots and table games that players can play while they wait for the casino to reopen.
PokerStars, the state’s only online poker room, is also doing quite well. Next month, PokerStars PA will hold its first PASCOOP event and is set to guarantee $2 million in prizes.
Online sports betting will also continue to be available in PA. However, due to the postponement of many sports and leagues, there is not much for sports bettors to wager on at the moment. Exceptions include a couple of soccer leagues as well as the National Regulation League and Australian Football League.