After a seven-month coronavirus-induced hiatus, live poker is finally set to return to Atlantic City. The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, the city’s highest grossing casino, said Friday that it will reopen its poker room on October 21.
The Borgata’s Poker Room is scheduled to resume welcoming players at 10 am on Wednesday with certain adjustments made to meet pandemic safety requirements and guidelines.
One of the largest live poker rooms in the US with 77 tables, The Poker Room will now feature only 30 spaced-out tables. Each of them will have polycarbonate dividers between each seat.
The poker facility will only offer live cash games on seven-handed tables at first. No tournament play is scheduled to take place at The Poker Room for now.
The Borgata was the last Atlantic City gambling venue to resume operations after all of the city’s casinos were ordered to shut down in mid-March to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. New Jersey was one of the epicenters of the Covid-19 crisis this spring.
Atlantic City’s casinos were allowed to reopen ahead of the July 4 weekend and many did so. However, The Borgata swung its doors open in the last days of July. Property officials said ahead of the property’s reopening that they “took time to reassess and strategize” how it would operate and that they wanted to make sure that “when we opened, we opened safely, for our employees and our guests.”
Masks Are Mandatory at The Poker Room
Once The Poker Room resumes operations, players will be required to wear masks while at the facility (as well as at other public areas in the casino). Beverage service will be available at the poker room, but food will not be served.
There will be hand sanitizing stations all over the room and high-touch points will be disinfected frequently, property officials have said. Spectators will not be permitted at the poker facility, it also became known.
While live poker tournaments will not resume immediately at The Borgata, the casino’s Bad Beat Jackpot promotion will be available upon The Poker Room’s reopening, starting at $100K.
Commenting on the return of poker at The Borgata, property President and Chief Operating Officer Melonie Johnson said that they are happy to welcome back their loyal players and that they have made certain changes “to enhance our guests’ experience and are excited to reintroduce live poker and the Borgata Poker brand more safely.”
The Borgata’s Poker Room is the largest live poker facility in Atlantic City. And according to data from New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, The Poker Room is the market leader out of the city’s all five poker rooms.
Last year, it alone generated nearly $18 million in poker revenue of the $27.2 million reported by all five rooms. Atlantic City’s other poker facilities are located at Bally’s, Golden Nugget, Harrah’s, and Tropicana.