Three Pennsylvania casinos could reopen June 5, Wind Creek Furloughs
Posted on: Jun 1, 2020, 8:16 a.m.
Last update on: June 1, 2020, 11:14 a.m.
Three Pennsylvania casinos are in counties slated to enter the “green phase” of the state’s plan to reopen on Friday, June 5.
All 12 physical casinos in Pennsylvania have been closed since March 16. As Keystone State continues to slowly reopen after two and a half months, three gaming floors could return to their slots and table games as early as Friday.
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin and The Meadows Casino Racetrack Hotel are located in three counties, respectively Allegheny, Fayette and Washington, which are due to enter the green phase on Friday. Governor Tom Wolf (D) announced last Friday that they were going green, along with 13 other counties.
In the green phase, casinos are allowed to reopen at a maximum capacity of 50%. Each casino must also obtain the approval of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) which validates that the establishment has implemented the various health safety guidelines that the published game rules May 19.
Closures result in holidays
Wind Creek Bethlehem recently announced that the property is putting 84 percent of its staff on leave. Some 2,100 employees have become eligible to file and receive state unemployment benefits as of today. They can also apply to receive the federal unemployment stimulus payment of $ 600 per week.
Wind Creek, owned and operated by the Poarch Creek Indian Band in Alabama, says workers will continue to receive their health benefits while on leave. “They remain employed and that has been essential for us,” said Jay Dorris, president of Wind Creek Bethlehem. Lehigh Valley Live.
The Native American tribe acquired the commercial casino of Las Vegas Sands for $ 1.3 billion in May 2019. Sands continued to pay employees in Las Vegas, Singapore and Macau during mandatory casino closings.
The Bethlehem Casino complex resides in Northampton County, which remains in the red stay-at-home phase. Northampton is expected to enter yellow on Friday.
A county must remain in the yellow phase for two weeks. “If the overall risk remains mitigated for 14 days, we will move the county into the green phase,” said Governor Wolf’s directive on the process to reopen Pennsylvania.
Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties join Northampton in the yellow phase starting Friday. They are home to the Parx Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia, the Valley Forge Casino Resort and the Rivers Casino Philadelphia.
Assuming the 14-day yellow phase is toned down as needed, the earliest these casinos – and Wind Creek – could theoretically reopen would be on June 19.
The remaining casinos not listed are Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course (Dauphin County), Presque Isle Downs & Casino (Erie), Mohegan Sun Pocono (Luzerne), and Mount Airy Casino Resort (Monroe).
These four counties have already entered the yellow phase. Dauphin, Luzerne and Monroe entered the yellow phase on May 29.
Erie entered the yellow phase on May 8. However, the county is staying there after coronavirus cases continued to rise over the two-week interval, and state officials felt it was not ready to go green.