Philadelphia Drops Mandate After Four Days; Masks Not Needed At Casinos and Wells Fargo Center

Written By Katie Kohler on April 11, 2022 - Last Updated on November 3, 2022
PA casinos update mask rules

Only four days after becoming the first major city to reinstate its mask mandate, Philadelphia health officials changed course. Philadelphia lifted its mask mandate on April 22 and strongly encouraged people to wear masks indoors.

Visitors at the two Philadelphia casinos – Live! Casino Philadelphia and Rivers Casino – are no longer required to wear masks to enter. Masks are also not needed at the Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia casinos most recent mask and vaccination rules

As of April 22, masks are not required to enter Live! Casino Philadelphia or Rivers Casino. No proof of vaccination is needed for entry.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia GM said mask mandate hurts momentum

Rivers Casino general manager Justin Moore spoke with Tino Magnatta, host of Casino Update, about what the new mask mandate means for business. During the previous mask mandate, Moore said business dropped about 30%.

“It certainly makes us a little more hesitant on pushing down the gas pedal. There are marketing promotions this week that are launching and its going to be interesting to see how guests react. But for the most part this will effect guest behaviors and we will see the trends we saw before March 2.”

Moore did point out that even before the mask mandate was reintroduced, he saw a lot of employees and guests still wearing masks.

“It’s like we were on a 15-0 run and the coach decided to call timeout. It’s one of those things where were running and then there was the timeout. We are optimistic it will not last too long. We’ll see. We are keeping an eye on the numbers with the city. 

“It’s a hinderance at this time. It’s difficult as a leader to ask the team to put the masks back on. Some people are fine with it and it’s okay. The biggest challenge is, when you force this policy on the public, some people lose their mind. It puts our team in a bad spot sometimes. That’s the hardest part. It’s been rough.” 

Wells Fargo Center and Citizens Bank Park current mask rules

The mask mandate started on April 18. Game 2 of the Philadelphia Sixers NBA Playoff series against the Raptors was on April 19 and very few people in attendance at the Wells Fargo Center were wearing masks.

As of April 22, you do not need a mask for entry to Wells Fargo Center or Citizens Bank Park.

Philadelphia casinos face tougher COVID rules than rest of state

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Philadelphia has implemented an additional set of restrictions on top of the state’s COVID measures. Philadelphia moved to the “all clear” response level on March 2 and dropped the indoor mask mandate.

Joe Billhimer, Executive Vice President of the Cordish Gaming Group, told PlayPennsylvania in a March 2 email:

“We are thrilled to see the end of the mask mandate and look forward to welcoming guests with open arms and big smiles they can actually see. The good times are back at Live!”

It came at an opportune time for Philadelphia casinos and sportsbooks with the start of March Madness. Now, with the start of spring and warmer weather, Philadelphia casinos will have to compete with other PA casinos with no mask mandates and Atlantic City casinos.

Lead image AP Photo/Wayne Parry

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist and Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania. Katie especially enjoys creating unique content and on-the-ground reporting in PA. She is focused on creating valuable, timely content about casinos and sports betting for readers. Katie has covered the legal Pennsylvania gambling industry for Catena Media since 2019.

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