Pennsylvania Gov. Orders Casino Market To Close For Second Time

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf enacted an executive order that forced his state’s brick-and-mortar casino industry to shutter for the second time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a press release from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the state’s 13 casinos were forced to close at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12. They will remain closed until at least 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

Harrah’s Philadelphia, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Lady Luck Nemacoin, 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 and Wind Creek Bethlehem were all affected by the order.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia was already closed on Nov. 20 after the city issued a mandate that shut it down.

The mandates come as COVID-19 cases are rising all over the country and regulators are claiming that these measures are being taken as a public health safety measure.

“The Board is continuously monitoring developments and will update the licensees and the public as frequently as possible with any new development,” said Gaming Control Board Executive Director Kevin O’Toole in a statement.

Wolf shut down the state’s brick-and-mortar gaming industry in mid-March as the virus made its first wave through the country. The state’s casinos reopened in mid-late June, as it one of the states that took a more cautious approach to its reopening process. It is one of the few states that is forcing its casinos to close again.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently enacted stay-at-home orders for two regions of his state, which encompasses about 87% of the state’s population. The order closed all commercial casinos in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley.

Wolf’s move comes shortly after casino executives penned him a letter asking him to keep the industry open, according to a report from PennLive. Through just the first two weeks of the first shutdown, operators lost nine-figures worth of revenue and will likely see similar trends this time around.

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