Coronavirus Concerns Rapidly Change Sports, Gaming Landscape In PA

Online gambling options in PA remain an option as the sports world and casinos in the state shut down to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The sports and sports betting landscape around the world and in the Keystone State are still adjusting to a spate of cancelations, delays and cautions.

One casino has closed in Pennsylvania so far on Gov. Tom Wolf‘s orders in an effort to help contain the coronavirus.

For now, the rest of the casinos in PA remain in operation, as do all online sportsbooks and online casinos.

*Update: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) ordered all PA land-based casinos to close by March 17.

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Rapidly evolving situation with coronavirus precautions

Gov. Wolf spoke at a press conference on Thursday, urging the cancellation of events involving large gatherings. He also singled out Montgomery County, which has been hit the hardest by the virus.

“No mass gatherings should be held, including conferences and rallies. By closing these facilities, we can control the spread of this disease, that’s the hope. And we can redirect our public safety and health officials to where they are needed the most.”

At about the same time as President Donald Trump spoke on Friday, Gov. Wolf announced that all PA schools from K-12 would close until March 16.

Trump takes federal action against the virus

Additional changes are likely, as Trump declared a national state of emergency Friday.

He invoked a federal law allowing his administration to aid state and local governments, Bloomberg News reported Friday.

The move makes available more than $42 billion through the Disaster Relief Fund. Trump asked all hospitals to move to emergency status and removed many rules on how they operate.

The president also thanked the sporting world for responsibly mitigating the spread of the virus by canceling and postponing events.

Changes due to virus are pervasive

Most flights to Europe have been canceled.

The NBA’s season is on hold, with some players testing positive and others in self-isolation due to exposure. The Sixers are on hiatus with the rest of the league.

The PGA has been suspended. March Madness will not happen. The NHL has been halted, including the Flyers and the Penguins.

Baseball’s opening day has been pushed back to mid-May. The MLS and some European soccer leagues are at a standstill, and NASCAR is idling.

Valley Forge is the only closed casino for now

Valley Forge Casino closed its doors Friday morning in compliance with a directive from the governor.

The property is in King of Prussia in Montgomery County, which Wolf referred to as the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.

Schools in that county have shut down, at least for two weeks. More than 60 PA schools, with a high percentage of parents employed in Montgomery County, have closed.

Valley Forge offers online betting options through FanDuel Sportsbook and FanDuel Casino, which remain open for business.

Online betting options still available

Online wagering remains an entertainment option for those living in states with regulated mobile gaming. PA betting apps offer casino games and sports betting on the limited remaining sporting events being played.

PokerStars PA the only PGCB-regulated online poker option in the state for now.

Online sportsbook operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel and PlaySugarHouse sent out emails reassuring customers that they are working on making good on wagers placed on unplayed games.

DraftKing’s note read:

“This situation is fluid, so we are actively developing a status page where you can find the latest news on game and contest cancellations and schedule changes, with the goal of providing a one-stop destination for the answers to questions you may have. We will email our customer community as soon as this page is live and we will continue to update it with new information.”

It will take time to sort this all out, obviously, but uncertainty is what remains certain.

Editor’s note: This is a rapidly evolving situation. We will continue to provide updates here.