In Atlantic City, live poker gaming has been lacking. After casinos shut down in March and reopened in July, operators only provided a certain number of services. Poker was one game that operators were not ready to provide due to the need for social interaction to play. With the COVID-19 pandemic still an issue, operators decided to stick with social distanced slots and table games. For quite some time, the Borgata was the only venue to provide live poker gaming. Caesars Entertainment Inc. has now announced that it is bringing poker back to its Harrah’s venue, right after Christmas.
Back in Action
On Monday, a spokesperson for Caesars provided information on the Harrah’s Poker room and how it will be operational once again by December 26. The poker room is a World Series of Poker branded space and will offer gaming from noon until 4am.
The poker room is currently undergoing a once over to ensure that it is ready to provide a safe environment for players and guests as the virus is still an issue. Restrictions will be in place once the room opens back up and certain measures will be in place for protection.
Only eight people will be seated at each poker table. Each person will be separated by a plastic divider. Players will be required to wear masks, just as they are required to do throughout the casinos in Atlantic City.
It is crazy to think that the casino will be welcoming back poker nine months after the casinos in AC first closed down when the pandemic began.
Poker Gaming in Atlantic City
While Caesars also owns the Tropicana, there seems to be no plans to reopen the casino’s poker room. The operator may wait and see how well Harrah’s performs and then rethink their strategy. Right now, the only poker room in operation in Atlantic City is at the Borgata.
The casino resumed live poker gaming back in late October. The poker room is one of the largest in the United States and the biggest in the gambling town. It offers a total of 77 tables. When the casino reopened the room, it cut the number of tables by more than 50%, installing only 30.
Once Harrah’s poker room is operational, two out of five will be offering services. The Golden Nugget, Tropicana and Bally’s remain inoperable.
Casinos in Atlantic City are currently under even more restrictions for services due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. Dining and drink services have been cut after 10pm, which had led to a decrease in gaming revenues earned.
Most players do not want to hang out after 10pm at the casinos if they are not allowed to drink or eat. It is unclear as to when this restriction will be inactive. So far, the governor is not open to allowing the services to take place during the late night hours in the hope of slowing the spread of the virus.
If the state is able to see a lower positive case count for several continuous days, it might bring about changes regarding casino restrictions.