Rivers Casino In Pittsburgh Will Be Back In Business Friday Morning

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Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino will reopen at 9 a.m. Friday, although under even more COVID-19-related restrictions than before its current week-long closure.

The casino on Thursday afternoon announced the restart as the result of new guidance from the Allegheny County Health Department. The county ordered the casino as well as bars and restaurants to shut down for a week July 3 in an effort to stem a large spike in coronavirus cases, many of them apparently tied to gatherings of young adults consuming alcohol.

Under the rules covering its reopening, no food or drinks — alcohol or otherwise — will be served inside the casino. Also, under a Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board order, no smoking is allowed inside the casino.

The measures are part of an effort to ensure patrons all consistently wear facial coverings, as dictated by the state.

“Face coverings must be worn at all times while in the casino — no exceptions, no pulling down,” according to a Rivers Casino press release. “The Rivers Clean Team, Surveillance, and Security — along with all Rivers Casino Pittsburgh personnel, will be monitoring continuously and enforcing full compliance.”

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Three Rivers workers had COVID

Rivers Casino, owned by Rush Street Gaming, on June 9 became the first of the state’s 12 casinos to reopen after shutdowns that took place in mid-March.

It reported positive COVID test results among three employees in the weeks before its current shutdown, however, and began taking temperature checks of everyone entering the casino, as some other properties had already done.

Rivers officials said their HVAC system has been upgraded to help address health concerns, using a special patented technology that continuously disinfects indoor air and eliminates coronavirus on surfaces.

With Friday’s reopening, that will leave Rush Street’s other Pennsylvania property, Rivers Philadelphia, as the only one of the state’s 12 casinos to remain closed. That is due to a restriction by the city of Philadelphia beyond what the state has imposed on businesses. It was reported at a state gaming board meeting Wednesday that the Philadelphia casino will likely be able to restart next week.

Photo provided by Shutterstock

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Gary Rotstein

Gary is a longtime journalist, having spent three decades covering gambling, state government, and other issues for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in addition to stints as managing editor of the Bedford (Pa.) Gazette and as a reporter for United Press International and the Middletown (Conn.) Press. Contact Gary at [email protected].

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