Just in time for New Year’s, Atlantic City poker players will have another option for live poker. Harrah’s Atlantic City announced on Tuesday plans to reopen its poker room on Saturday, Dec. 26.
The reopening will mark just the second Atlantic City poker room to welcome back players since the mid-March shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harrah’s first in Atlantic City to offer eight-handed poker
The World Series of Poker-branded room at Harrah’s will be open from noon to 4 a.m., seven days a week. As Caesars notes in its press release, the room “will be the first casino in the market to offer an eight-player game.”
Once cards go in the air, the poker room will offer the following cash games:
- $1/2, $1/3 and $2/5 no-limit hold’em
- $2/4/6 and $3/6 limit hold’em
- $10/20 Omaha high-low
The announcement describes the implementation of a few enhanced health and safety protocols designed to increase player and staff safety.
Atlantic City casinos already require all visitors to wear masks. The poker tables at Harrah’s AC will additionally feature individual safety shields made of plexiglass in order to help players maintain social distance.
The poker room at Harrah’s Atlantic City typically has 40 poker tables. The announcement does not specify how many of those tables will be in operation.
Ron Baumann, senior vice president and general manager for Harrah’s and Caesars, noted his excitement over Harrah’s reopening its poker room in time for the new year.
Baumann says the Harrah’s room “will serve as the destination for poker in Atlantic City at our Caesars Entertainment resorts.”
Baumann also serves as regional president of Caesars. Besides Harrah’s, the company also owns Caesars and Tropicana on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
Harrah’s, Borgata only live poker rooms to reopen
Of the other poker rooms in Atlantic City, only the one at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is currently operating.
Home to the city’s largest poker room, the Borgata reopened Oct. 21. The Borgata room currently offers 30 tables, a little over a third of its full capacity. Games are seven-handed maximum, with players wearing masks and polycarbonate barriers at the tables.
Like the room at the Wild Wild West Casino, now part of the Caesars AC property, both the Golden Nugget Atlantic City and Tropicana Atlantic City poker rooms remain shuttered.
As The Press of Atlantic City notes, Ocean Casino Resort had introduced poker tables previously but removed them in favor of high-limit slots.
AC casinos remain open as others close
All nine Atlantic City casinos closed in March in response to the pandemic. By the Fourth of July, each had reopened, with the Borgata the last to do so on July 26.
The casinos continue to operate with restrictions on capacity and other safety guidelines in place. The immediate future remains somewhat uncertain, however, given recent troubling COVID-19 trends.
Just as in other areas of the country, New Jersey has been enduring increased cases, hospitalizations and deaths related to the virus.
In late November, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order limiting the size of both indoor and outdoor gatherings. However, casinos were allowed to continue to operate as before.
“We believe, based on the evidence that we have, that they’ve been able to responsibly manage their casino floors,” said Murphy last month.
Meanwhile, last weekend, all 12 casinos in neighboring Pennsylvania were ordered to close until early January.