As one Pennsylvania casino poker room has been drawing attention for reaching a record U.S. jackpot level , another has quietly disclosed its permanent closure.
In a Facebook post this month, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course revealed an update concerning its poker room, which never reopened after a March 2020 COVID-19 shutdown.
“We wanted to provide everyone with an update that the poker room will not reopen,” the casino reported on July 1.
While that might be bad news for those accustomed to patronizing the 17-table poker room in the past, the consolation is the casino announced it will hold drawings at the end of July to give away over $440,000 that’s been built up in its poker “bad beat” jackpot. The Bad Beat Jackpot Giveaway, the Facebook post said, will be open to those who “had rated poker play between August 4, 2019 and March 20, 2020.” Hollywood one of three rooms that didn’t reopen
While most of the state’s casinos eventually reopened poker rooms that — like the casinos themselves — were closed temporarily starting in March 2020 due to COVID, those at Hollywood Penn National as well as Harrah’s Philadelphia and Presque Isle Downs & Casino did not return. In general, poker rooms are not considered big revenue generators for casinos that make the bulk of their income from slot machines.
Like a sportsbook, poker can be a low-margin amenity that adds to the overall casino atmosphere while bringing patrons who might also spend money in other ways — whether for food, drinks, or alternate forms of gaming. Poker is more labor intensive than other parts of the casino, however, and staffing shortages have presented new challenges to those operating the rooms. Unlike most states, Pennsylvania also has legal online poker options on multiple sites.
Jeff Morris, a spokesman for Penn National Gaming, declined to go into detail with Penn Bets about reasons for terminating poker at the casino near Harrisburg, which had been the only place to play live, legal poker in Pennsylvania between the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. Penn National operates four properties in Pennsylvania, and […]
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