Delta Variant Causes Return of Masks at Philadelphia Casinos

Posted By Katie Kohler on August 11, 2021 - Last Updated on September 12, 2021

Masks are back at Philadelphia casinos.

Philadelphia officials announced a new mask mandate will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, August 12.
The city will require masks be worn inside businesses unless the business requires proof of vaccination, according to health officials.

Two casino in Philadelphia – Rivers Casino Philadelphia and Live! Casino Philadelphia – are subject to the city’s rules.

The city of Philadelphia has recently seen substantial community spread of the virus. At a Wednesday press briefing Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny said:

“The updated policies we are implementing are critical to slowing the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 which is more dangerous and more transmissible than earlier forms of the virus. The science is clear. These measures will protect Philadelphian and save lives. We strongly urge everyone who has not received the vaccine to get it immediately. Please just get the vaccine. It could all be avoided if you did that.”

Rivers Casino Philadelphia reimplements masking rules

Rivers Casino Philadelphia said in a statement:

The City of Philadelphia issued a mandate today that all businesses inside the City limit require a facial mask while indoors or proof of vaccination. Thus, at 12 a.m. tonight we will require all patrons and employees to wear a facial mask regardless of vaccination status. In addition, Rivers will ban smoking indoors until further notice. A designated smoking area will be set up in the valet area under the porte cochere. 

Live! Casino Philadelphia updated health and safety measures

Live! Casino Philadelphia also released a statement following the City of Philadelphia mask mandate.

Latest rules on masks, smoking and drinking at Live! Casino Philadelphia

Effective at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, August 12:

  • All team members and guests are required to wear a mask while in our facility (regardless of vaccination status).
  • Live! will continue to serve drinks and alcohol but will return to “Dip and Sip” procedures for all drink consumption.
  • Patrons in restaurants will be able to continue to dine/eat without masks while seated.
  • Indoor smoking will be temporarily prohibited. Live! will only allow smoking outdoors.
  • “Please remember to be patient as we re-acclimate our guests on this required change. We will continue to closely monitor any updates from our local health authorities in Philadelphia.”

Philadelphia casinos’ COVID rules

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Philadelphia has implemented an additional set of restrictions on top of the state’s COVID measures. As a result, Rivers Casino Philadelphia remained closed longer than any other Pennsylvania casino. During FY 2019/2020 Rivers Philadelphia was closed 107 days and in FY 2020/2021 they were closed 62 days.

Live! Casino Philadelphia opened in Feb. 2021 so they didn’t not lose any operating days due to the coronavirus. However, Live! Casino Philadelphia and Rivers Casino Philadelphia couldn’t offer alcohol on the gaming floor until May 21. Drink service returned to other Pennsylvania casinos on April 4.

Mask rules for Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park

Masks are also required at non-seated outdoor events with 1,000+ attendees which means that masks and vaccination cards are not required to enter Lincoln Financial Field or Citizens Bank Park.

After the city announced its updated masking policies, the Philadelphia Eagles tweeted in part:

The City of Philadelphia announced earlier today an indoor mask mandate throughout the city, regardless of vaccination status. In accordance with the mandate, the Philadelphia Eagles have updated their health and safety protocols. 

All stadium guests and staff will be required to wear a mask when visiting indoor spaces at Lincoln Financial Field. Fans are not required to wear a mask outdoors. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at all times unless eating or drinking. Fans should bring their own mask to the stadium. 

The Eagles’ first preseason game is at home on Aug. 12 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Eagles start their 2021 regular season on the road versus the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 12 and then host the San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 19.

Latest COVID rules and regulations at Pennsylvania casinos

Currently, at other Pennsylvania casinos not in Philadelphia, masks are not required to be worn by visitors.

PA lifted its masking order on June 28 and most Pennsylvania casinos chose to allow smoking again. However, indoor smoking is still temporarily suspended at Parx Casino.

Questions about the Delta variant and mask wearing? A Pennsylvania doctor provides some answers to PlayPennsylvania.

Matt Rourke/AP

Katie Kohler Avatar
Written by
Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She is the Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania and covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

View all posts by Katie Kohler
Privacy Policy