Which Pennsylvania Live Poker Rooms Are Currently Open? (Updated Nov. 19)

Just as five poker rooms in Pennsylvania have gotten back to dealing cards, spikes in coronavirus cases are beginning to force some to close once again.

It was just over a month ago that the first Pennsylvania poker rooms began to reopen after all of them were forced to close in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alas, a renewed surge in cases has made it necessary for PA poker rooms to deal with the situation once again. In some cases, rooms have opted not to deal at all — not to deal hands, that is.

When Pennsylvania’s casinos began reopening over the summer, the poker rooms were all forced to remain shut per COVID-19 Casino Reopening Protocols issued by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

In early October, the PGCB began accepting reopening plans from some of the rooms. A couple of weeks later, the first few poker rooms began reopening. But with coronavirus-related cases, hospitalizations and deaths on the rise, those plans are being revisited and revised once more.

Here is a quick rundown of the current status of all 10 of the state’s poker rooms — or perhaps we should say all nine rooms, as one of them appears to have closed for good.

Reopened and still operating – Meadows, Mohegan Sun, Mt. Airy, Rivers Pittsburgh

Four of the five poker rooms that reopened continue to welcome players, at least for now.

The rooms at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Mount Airy Casino both reopened on Oct. 16. A week later, on Oct. 23, the poker room at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino reopened. Then a week ago, on Nov. 11, the room at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh reopened as well.

All four currently remain open and are operating as follows:

  • Mohegan Sun Pocono (eight tables) – open daily, 12 p.m. to 3 a.m.
  • Mount Airy (12 tables) – open 24 hours
  • Rivers Casino Pittsburgh (30 tables) – open Mon.-Thurs., 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Fri.-Sat., 12 p.m. to 4 a.m.; Sun., 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
  • The Meadows (14 tables) – open daily, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Mt. Airy is the land-based partner of the only online poker site in the state, PokerStars PA, which will continue dealing virtual hands through pandemic closures.

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Reopened, but now temporarily closed – Rivers Philadelphia

Rivers Casino Philadelphia reopened its 28-table poker room on Oct. 23. In fact, just a few days ago, some lucky players enjoyed a windfall when the Bad Beat Jackpot hit.

However, on Monday, the city of Philadelphia issued new restrictions that will force the casino to close on Friday, Nov. 20. The earliest the casino will be able to reopen will be Jan. 1, 2021.

The new guidelines cover a host of different businesses, including restaurants, bars, gyms and fitness centers, and theaters. All Philadelphia high schools and colleges must move to online-only instruction for the rest of the year as well.

Still temporarily closed – Hollywood, Parx, Presque Isle Downs, Wind Creek

The following poker rooms have been shuttered since mid-March and remain closed at present:

  • Hollywood Casino Penn National (17 tables) – closed
  • Parx Casino (80 tables) – closed
  • Presque Isle Downs (seven tables) – closed
  • Wind Creek Casino (26 tables) – closed

It is unknown if or when Hollywood or Presque Isle plans to reopen. Wind Creek appears to be in no rush either, given that slot machines presently occupy the floor of its poker room.

By contrast, Parx does appear to be considering reopening its poker room, the largest in the state. Parx recently sent out an announcement of plans to reopen the room “before the end of December.” But COVID-19 numbers could deter those plans.

Permanently closed – Harrah’s Philadelphia poker room

Meanwhile, in late August, Harrah’s Philadelphia indicated it had closed its large 27-table World Series of Poker-branded poker room, with no plans to reopen.

While there was no formal announcement, employees of the poker room shared information about the closure on social media and elsewhere.

Pennsylvania’s two other casinos, Lady Luck Nemacolin and Valley Forge, are both currently open, though neither has poker rooms.

You can follow our live updates page at PlayPennsylvania for the latest on PA casino (and poker room) closures and reopening plans as they are made available.

DraftKings Casino App in PA ‘Designed With the iGaming Player in Mind’

DraftKings recently debuted a stand-alone online casino app in PA that caters to iGaming players with unique themed table games, and Live Dealer is coming soon.

DraftKings expanded its realm by launching a mobile casino app in Pennsylvania. Users can link accounts across DFS, sports betting and casino sites and have a shared wallet.

And now, the DraftKings stand-alone casino app is available on iOS.  However, it’s not available for Android.

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DraftKings Casino designed with ‘iGaming player in mind’

DraftKings online sportsbook operates in Pennsylvania through a partnership with The Meadows. The Meadows did not apply for an online casino license, so the DraftKings iGaming platform operates under Hollywood Casino’s license.

A DraftKings spokesperson explained to Play Pennsylvania the reasoning behind the stand-alone casino app:

“While our Sportsbook app caters to sports bettors, the DraftKings Casino stand-alone app is a more wholesome product designed with the iGaming player in mind. Irrespective of the annual sports calendar, DraftKings Casino leverages our unique, in-house technology and games to offer a best-in-market gaming experience.

“The new app allows us to focus on our strengths, including our dedicated DraftKings Live Dealer studio and best-in-class DraftKings-built game suite, and highlight market-leading promotions like our monthly $250K leaderboards.”

How to download

How to download the DraftKings Casino app in Pennsylvania:

  • Go to the App Store.
  • Type “DraftKings casino” in the search bar.
  • FYI, it will appear as “DraftKings Casino NJ,” but it’s the one for PA players too. Click “Get,” then “Install.”
  • Allow DraftKings Casino to use your location (allow while using app).

DraftKings Casino games

The DraftKings Casino app in Pennsylvania has 17 table games, Game King Poker and 30 slot titles.

The biggest difference from other online casinos in PA is that DraftKings has branded and themed table games like:

  • DraftKings Blackjack
  • Classic Blackjack
  • Single Hand Blackjack
  • Pride Blackjack
  • Christmas Blackjack
  • Retro Blackjack
  • Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Football and Hockey Blackjack
  • Lunar New Year Blackjack
  • DraftKings American Roulette
  • European Roulette
  • Basketball Roulette

For min and max bets:

  • Blackjack: Minimum bet $1.00, maximum bet $5,000

Baccarat: Minimum bet $1.00, maximum bet $10,000

Game King Poker: Minimum bet $0.20, maximum bet $200

“The response in Pennsylvania has been exciting,” said a DraftKings spokesperson. “Our players have clearly been waiting for DraftKings to launch our trusted gaming experience in the state, proving demand for something different in the market. So far, the most popular games have been DraftKings Blackjack and Roulette; land-based slot titles such as Cleopatra and Wheel of Fortune always prove popular.”

Live Dealer coming to PA

As of late July, no online casino in Pennsylvania offered Live Dealer. Live Dealer is a popular online casino feature that allows users to play games like blackjack in real time, with a real dealer, from home.

A press release from DraftKings announcing the app said that customers in PA “will soon have access to the custom DraftKings Live Dealer Studio which will operate 24/7.”

When asked in mid-July about a possible time frame for the arrival of Live Dealer, a DraftKings spokesperson said they expect it to be made available within the next few months.

DraftKings Online Casino Launches In Pennsylvania May 1

DraftKings online casino launched in Pennsylvania on May 1. Find out what games and features you can expect from the 10th casino to launch in the state.

T-minus three … two … one!

Just like that, DraftKings continues its ascent in the iGaming industry. Last Friday, the online sportsbook and daily fantasy sports operator officially became a publicly traded company with the DKNG ticker symbol on Nasdaq.

Following that, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) officially green-lit the soft launch of DraftKings during its meeting Wednesday.

Following a successful mandated testing period, the DraftKings online casino is officially launched as of May 1. It is the 10th online casino offering in the state.

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About DraftKings PA online casino

You can access the DraftKings PA online casino via desktop browsers as well as iOS or Android mobile devices.

Moreover, if you already have an account with the DraftKings sportsbook in PA, you can use your preexisting account and funds.

DraftKings PA online casino launched with 27 slots (from IGT), video poker and table games including blackjack and roulette. The company eventually plans to offer 280 games, which will be rolled out gradually.

In New Jersey, DraftKings also offers Live Dealer casino games. A DraftKings representative confirmed that Live Dealer games will be offered at its PA casino in the future, saying:

“While we do not have an exact time frame, all 280 options will follow quickly after launch, including those that feature a live dealer and those that are DraftKings branded.”

The rep also shared that casino players will be able to customize the felt design for table games with options such as sports and holiday themes.

Growing the DraftKings brand

DraftKings first built its name on becoming one of the top daily fantasy sports operators. Then the company took steps to be publicly traded. Now it can offer not just sports betting but online casinos, too.

DraftKings Chief Compliance Officer Tim Dent issued a statement Wednesday morning that said:

“DraftKings appreciates the collaborative working relationship we have established with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and thanks them for their thoughtful leadership in creating a consumer-focused, competitive iGaming market. We look forward to successfully completing the soft launch phase of the process and receiving our iGaming license so that we can be fully operational in Pennsylvania on May 1.”

Currently, the DraftKings online sportsbook partners with The Meadows in Pennsylvania, but The Meadows does not own an online casino license. For that reason, DraftKings will operate under the Hollywood Casino online gaming license; Hollywood is another property owned by Penn National.

This is possible even though Hollywood already has an online casino app. PA gaming regulations allow for multiple online casino skins under a single operator license. With the market-access deal between Penn and DraftKings, Hollywood is the obvious choice for DraftKings’ land-based casino partner.

DraftKings poised to gain strong market share of PA iGaming market

With the approval by the PGCB, DraftKings becomes the 10th online casino to enter the PA market. While it may be argued that DraftKings is entering a saturated PA online casino market, it seems that the operator is poised to make an immediate and sizable impact in Pennsylvania for various reasons.

First, brick-and-mortar casinos closed in March, which resulted in a record month for online gaming revenue. With land-based casinos remaining closed for the foreseeable future, it seems logical that the timing of the DraftKings launch in PA will only spell success.

Second, the DraftKings online sportsbook only entered the PA market in November 2019. However, within two months, the relative newcomer was already the second-largest online sportsbook, behind only FanDuel.

Despite being new to Pennsylvania, DraftKings already had a well-known brand and an established DFS customer base to build upon.

Now DraftKings will look to leverage those same assets to grab a share of the maturing PA iGaming market.