PA Gaming Review: Poker Rooms Could Reopen Soon; Eagles vs. Steelers – With Fans!

Written By Kevin Shelly on October 8, 2020 - Last Updated on April 10, 2024
Eagles vs Steelers will have fans in attendance Sunday in Pittsburgh

Ready for some rivalry and cross-state action? Pennsylvania’s two NFL teams square off on Sunday for the first time since 2016. The undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers will host the one-win Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday, and it appears PA will allow some fans in the stands for the first time this season.

Looks like poker rooms could be back in a few weeks following several months of COVID-19 shutdowns.

And while casinos are back in operation, the virus has taken a huge toll on the workforce.

Eagles vs. Steelers on Sunday, with limited number of fans

Implausibly, the Eagles are at first place in the NFC East, with a 1-2-1 record even with their dreadful play. They will meet the Steelers, who are 3-0 and atop the AFC North, in Pittsburgh at 1 p.m.

Pennsylvania online sportsbooks list the Steelers as 7- or 7.5-point favorites, with the over/under at 44.5. PlayPennsylvania has the odds and betting information for the highly anticipated Week 5 matchup here.

And thanks to some easing of crowd restrictions in Pennsylvania, it looks as though as many as 5,500 fans could attend Sunday’s Battle of Pennsylvania game at Heinz Field.

Poker rooms in PA can reopen soon

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbach confirms that some casinos have submitted plans and safety protocols for review to reopen their poker rooms.

There are no specific dates or details for which properties yet.

But Harrah’s has shut its room permanently. And recently, Wind Creek still had its poker room filled with slots.

Virus trims the casino workforce

The headline at PlayPennsylvania captured the news starkly: PA Casino Jobs Plummet by 41% in 2019-20.

The recent 2019-2020 Gaming Diversity Report showed the grim statistic.

year earlier, Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos had 16,717 employees. On June 30 this year, the same dozen properties had just 9,883 employees. That’s a reduction of 6,834 jobs. Upper-level employees accounted for 1,614 job slots.

And while many are back, approximately 900 casino employees have permanently lost their jobs, according to the report.

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Kevin Shelly

Kevin C. Shelly is an award-winning career journalist who has spent most of his career in South Jersey. He's the former assistant city editor of The Press of Atlantic City, where he covered the casino industry and Atlantic City government as a reporter. He was also an investigative, narrative enterprise, and features reporter for Gannett’s Courier-Post.

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