After Governor Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Dr Rachel Levine announced new COVID protective mitigation efforts, land-based casino gaming operations in Pennsylvania are to be suspended until next year.
The limited-time directives took effect on December 12 at 12:01 a.m. and will remain in effect until 8 a.m. on January 4, 2021, with studies by Yale and Harvard highlighted as substantiating the new efforts by the Keystone State.
Gaming operations at Harrah’s Philadelphia, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Lady Luck Nemacolin, Live! Casino Pittsburgh, Casino and Racetrack Meadows, Mohegan Sun Pocono, Casino Resort Mount Airy, Parx Casino, Racetrack and Casino Presque Isle, Pittsburgh Rivers, Casino and Resort Valley Forge, and Bethlehem Wind Creek, will cease under the order
Pursuant to an order from the City of Philadelphia, Rivers Casino Philadelphia had already closed on November 20.
Kevin O’Toole, executive director of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, said that the public health and safety of employers, casino employees and others was crucial: “The board is continuously monitoring developments and will update licensees and the public as frequently as possible with any new developments,” he added.
The broad-based measures introduce a wide range of prohibitions in the area, including all in-person indoor dining, indoor gatherings and events for more than 10 people, outdoor gatherings and events for more than 50 people, and indoor gym and fitness facilities operations.
It is also prohibited to operate all in-person entertainment businesses serving the public within a given building or indoor area, including but not limited to, casinos, theatres, concert venues, museums, movie theatres, arcades, bowling alleys, private clubs, and all other similar entertainment, leisure or social facilities.
In addition, all in-person enterprises serving the public which operate only up to 50 percent of the maximum capacity indicated on the applicable occupancy permit, with the exception of those limited to a smaller capacity limit by existing orders.
“Today I am announcing additional, temporary COVID-19 protective mitigation measures in the commonwealth,” said Wolf. “With these measures in place, we hope to accomplish three goals: First, stop the devastating spread of COVID-19 in the commonwealth.
“Second, keep our hospitals and health care workers from becoming overwhelmed. And third, help Pennsylvanians get through the holiday season – and closer to a widely available vaccine – as safely as possible. This is a bridge to a better future in Pennsylvania.”