oker is returning to Atlantic City on October 21, when the Borgata will become the first casino in the city to resume live poker play.
The city’s nine casinos shut down in mid-March due to the virus outbreak. When they reopened in July at reduced capacity, none offered live poker.
The Borgata said Thursday it will reopen The Poker Room at 10 a.m. Wednesday with some minor adjustments to account for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Press reports. It is taking several precautions, including limiting its poker room to just 30 tables when it can hold nearly 80. It is also keeping players distanced from each other and installing clear barriers.
“We are happy to welcome back our loyal players as we reopen Atlantic City’s market-leading East Coast poker destination,” said Melonie Johnson, the Borgata’s president and chief operating officer. “We have made some changes to enhance our guests' experience, and are excited to reintroduce live poker and the Borgata Poker brand more safely.”
All poker play will be live cash games on seven-handed tables. Tournaments will not initially be offered, although that might come later. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be accessible throughout the casino’s poker room, and the casino will frequently disinfect high-touch points. Masks are required in all public areas and spectators will not be permitted. Beverage service will be available inside Borgata’s poker room, but food will not be permitted.
The Borgata generated nearly $18 million in poker revenue last year, making it the leader among Atlantic City casinos.
There are five poker rooms in Atlantic City casinos, at Bally’s Atlantic City, Borgata, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Tropicana Atlantic City. Ocean Casino Resort had poker tables but removed them to make space for a new high-limit slot area.