ivers Casino Philadelphia, the only Pennsylvania casino that did not reopen after the three-month coronavirus lock down, is “hopeful” of reopening next week, a state regulator said Wednesday.
Rivers Casino Philadelphia, along with the 11 other casinos in Pennsylvania, will limit customers to 50% of capacity, impose face mask and hygiene requirements, and limit the number of slot machines in operation and of players at table games, Kevin O’Toole, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, told board members on Wednesday. Poker will not be available.
Thomas Farley, the city health commissioner, had announced that the casino could reopen July 3 if staff and patrons wore masks, social distancing measures were enforced, and no eating, drinking, or smoking were permitted. The casino has not announced a reopening date, but Pennsylvania regulators said Rivers Casino management was hopeful for a restart this week, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Furthermore, Rivers Casino has imposed a pay cut of up to 15% on salaried employees who are preparing for the reopening of the Fishtown casino, formerly known as SugarHouse.
“Despite generating zero revenue since suspending operations on March 15, Rivers Casino Philadelphia fully paid all team members for the first month of the shutdown, plus we’ve continued to pay employee health benefits the entire time,” Jack Horner, a casino spokesperson, told the newspaper Friday. “Returning salaried personnel are receiving reductions not to exceed 15% with no reduction for hourly workers.”
Many casinos around the world ordered furloughs and pay cuts during the lockdown, which has devastated the gaming and hospitality industries by reducing brick-and-mortar traffic to zero. In Pennsylvania, casinos continued to generate some revenue from online gaming.
Rush Street Gaming, which owns the Rivers Casino Philadelphia and three other properties including the Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, announced on April 9 that it would furlough some employees.
The pay cuts will remain in place indefinitely, the company said. “We hope to revisit team member compensation once business levels normalize,” it said in a statement Friday.