After a four-month coronavirus-caused shutdown, Rivers Casino Philadelphia was the last casino to reopen in Pennsylvania. The casino has been open since mid-July and just last week celebrated its 10th anniversary.
For a decade, Rivers Casino (formerly SugarHouse) has been the first and only casino in the city of Philadelphia. That distinction will end in early 2021 when Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia opens on Packer Avenue right near the Sports Complex in South Philadelphia.
However, Rivers Casino Philadelphia has spent the past 10 years establishing itself in the Greater Philadelphia area and will see guests continue to roll into the casino by the Delaware River.
With so much changing so fast these days, here is the latest news and updates from Rivers Casino Philadelphia and what you can expect during your next visit.
Updated hours at Rivers Casino Philadelphia
Rivers Casino Philadelphia has expanded its hours and is now open 24/7.
Sportsbook at Rivers Casino Philadelphia
The BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino hours:
Sun.: 10 a.m.-12 a.m.
Mon.-Thurs.: 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
Fri.: 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
Sat.: 10 a.m.-1 a.m.
Rivers Casino Philadelphia opened the $5 million state-of-the-art BetRivers sportsbook in October 2019. In preparation for this NFL season, it added eight self-service betting kiosks to the sportsbook and other locations throughout the casino floor. The additions up the total to 33 betting kiosks. In-person ticket windows are also open during select times.
Jim Llewellyn, sportsbook manager at Rivers Casino Philadelphia, commented:
“We’re excited to provide guests with a variety of betting options as professional sports are in full swing. BetRivers Sportsbook is the place for guests to wager on NFL games this fall and is just steps away from their favorite slots and games.”
Smoking, food and drink at Rivers Casino Philadelphia
Per the City of Philadelphia, food and beverages are not currently allowed on the gaming floor. Also, smoking is not permitted on the gaming floor; however, designated outdoor areas are set up.
PA Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed new orders for increased coronavirus mitigation efforts on July 16. For casinos, that means a temporary pause on drink service and sitting at the bar, and lower capacity limits at restaurants.
Restaurants at Rivers Casino Philadelphia
Rivers Casino Philadelphia recently reopened Jack’s Bar + Grill and Mian, where alcohol may be purchased with a meal. There will be no alcohol service on the casino floor.
- 5 p.m.-11 p.m. daily
- Authentic Asian cuisine
Jack’s Bar + Grill
- 2 p.m.-10 p.m. daily
- Classic American fare
The poker room at Rivers Casino Philadelphia
The Rivers Casino Philadelphia Poker Room, and currently every poker room in Pennsylvania, is closed. When PA casinos reopened, poker rooms were not permitted to operate due to players handling cards and chips. The plan at that time was to continually monitor the situation and make adjustments according to guidance from the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) Director of Communications Doug Harbach gave this update to PlayPennsylvania in late August about poker rooms in Pennsylvania:
“There has been no alteration to the casino reopening protocols released by the Gaming Control Board in May in which poker rooms were not authorized to operate. At the same time, this guideline can be reexamined based on health experts’ guidance. Should casinos wish to explore reopening a casino room, it would need to provide plans to do so safely, which would be reviewed by the board on a case-by-case basis.”
PlayPennsylvania reached out to a Rivers Casino spokesperson on Sept. 29 who said dates for reopening poker rooms at Rivers Casinos in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are yet to be determined.
Health and safety at Rivers Casino Philadelphia
Rivers Casino Philadelphia and all casinos in Pennsylvania are required to follow the PGCB’s COVID-19 Casino Reopening Protocols.
When visiting any PA casino, here are some of the new safety guidelines:
- Casinos can reopen at 50% capacity. However, the City of Philadelphia mandates that the gaming floor at Rivers Casino Philadelphia operate at 25% capacity.
- Employees and guests must wear masks.
- There must be markings on the floor to promote social distancing.
- Enhanced cleaning is required throughout the facility.
Rivers Casino in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh started a new initiative, Rivers Clean. It represents a rigorous propertywide cleaning and disinfectant program to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
They also upgraded their HVAC system to include airPHX, a technology that continuously disinfects indoor air and eliminates coronavirus on surfaces. In addition, the casino features AtmosAir, an indoor air quality purification system that is proven to neutralize coronavirus by more than 99.9%.
Promotions at Rivers Casino Philadelphia
Coins for Cash: For every $50 of clean, unwrapped coins, receive $5 in free play.
Rivers Philadelphia 2019-20 fiscal year numbers
Rivers Casino Philadelphia 2019-20 fiscal year totals include:
- Slot revenue: $123.5 million (tax revenue $61.2 million)
- Slot win per day: $216
- Table game revenue: $94.4 million (tax revenue $15.1 million)
- Total sports betting revenue: $17.8 million (tax revenue $6.4 million)
- Retail sportsbook revenue: $5.7 million
- Online sportsbook revenue: $12.1 million
- iGaming revenue: $73 million (tax revenue $33.7 million)
A good August for Rivers Philadelphia
Of all 12 casinos in PA, Rivers Casino Philadelphia ranked second behind Parx in terms of total gaming revenue in August. In August 2020, Rivers Casino Philadelphia posted $39.5 million in total gaming revenue, which represented about a 40% increase from last August’s total of $28.3 million.
Table games and slot revenue was down compared to last August, but Rivers Philadelphia led for iGaming revenue ($17 million) and saw a 77% YoY increase for sports betting revenue ($2.1 million).
Rivers Philadelphia celebrates 10 years
Then called SugarHouse, it was one of the first casinos to open in a major metropolitan area outside of Las Vegas or Atlantic City. As a result, Philadelphia’s first casino arrived with plenty of hoopla and the expectations that come with a $550 million price tag and 1,000 new jobs.
Six years later, the casino’s success led to a $164 million expansion that included a 28-table poker room, additional restaurants, the Event Center and a free parking garage.
It marked another first for gaming in the City of Philadelphia when it opened the first licensed sportsbook, operated by Rush Street Interactive (RSI), in 2018. According to Rivers, more than 60% of its workforce is from Philadelphia and surrounding areas.
Approximately 43% of Rivers’ total workforce are women, many in executive and management positions. Additionally, 60% are African American, Hispanic or Asian. And an impressive 176 team members have been with the casino since Day One.
Since opening in September 2010, Rivers Casino has generated more than $1.2 billion in total tax revenue for the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Free dealer training
Rivers Casino Philadelphia is offering a free dealer training program with weekday and weekend classes. People who complete the six-week training will receive a job offer.
Weekend class sessions begin:
Friday, Oct. 23 – Five-week duration
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
*Deadline to register for this class is Friday, Oct. 16.
Weekday (Monday-Thursday) class sessions begin:
Monday, Oct. 12 – Six-week duration
Choose 9 a.m.-2 p.m. or 4 p.m.-9 p.m.
*Deadline to register for this class is Sunday, Oct. 4.