Memorial Day 2021 will be different for Pennsylvania casinos.
Beset by state-ordered closures during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania casinos were closed on Memorial Day 2020 in an attempt to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. This year, the state will lift all COVID-19 restrictions except the wearing of face mask.
In a statement, Governor Tom Wolf said that Pennsylvania casinos can return to 100% operating capacity on Memorial Day. In addition, the limits on bars and restaurants will also be lifted.
Philly to Review State Plan
After Gov. Wolf’s announcement, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley did not say if the City of Brotherly Love will follow suit. Rather, Farley said that the Commission would review the state’s plan first.
Farley’s statement drew a violent reaction from Philadelphia’s council members who countered that Farley should set a reopening date since the Rivers Casino Philadelphia and Live! Casino Philadelphia are within the city’s boundaries and as such, are subject to its rules.
Operative Word is “Can”
After last year’s forced closure of Pennsylvania casinos for 100 days, the state gaming board released COVID-19 protocols for reopening. But with the state now allowing them to return to 100% operating capacity, it remains to be seen what the Pennsylvania casinos will do in terms of added capacity and what additional health and safety measures they put in place.
With Pennsylvania Casinos returning to 100% capacity and the increasing number of residents getting vaccinated, these gambling companies have started actively hiring. Last week, the Valley Forge Casino held a job fair. Most of the Pennsylvania casinos have upped their recruitment efforts by posting job ads in social media.
PA Casino Revenue Plummeted in 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania casinos racked up a total of 1,500 closure days which would be equivalent to ⅓ of the number of days the casinos would have operated normally. Because of that Pennsylvania casino revenue in 2002 plummeted with land-based casino revenue nearly halved.
According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the state’s 13 casinos, fantasy sports operators, and truck stops generating a total revenue of $2.65B in 2020. That among was a significant drop from the $3.B taken in by 12 Pennsylvania casinos in 2019, or a 22% drop.