This week, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was the first casino in Atlantic City to reintroduce live poker since properties closed their doors in March due to COVID-19. According to Press of Atlantic City, more than 100 poker players visited the poker room on its first day open.
The president and chief operating officer of Borgata, Melonie Johnson was quoted as saying: “We are happy to welcome back our loyal players as we reopen Atlantic City’s market-leading East Coast poker destination.”
It wasn’t business as usual at the Borgata poker room, for obvious reasons. A number of measures have been taken to keep staff and visitors protected and to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Hand sanitizing dispensers are available all over the venue, everyone is expected to wear masks, and polycarbonate barriers have been placed between seats around the poker tables.
In order to maintain the required social distancing, Borgata has also reduced the number of tables from 77 to just 30 for now.
The casino is not allowing tournament play for now, and is only offering seven-handed live cash games. Borgata’s Bad Beat Jackpot will start to run immediately, whereby players win up to $100,000 for a losing hand.
The poker room will allow the sale of alcohol but food will not be allowed to be consumed.
Spectators will also be prohibited from entering the poker room.
“We have made some changes to enhance our guests’ experience and are excited to reintroduce live poker and the Borgata Poker brand more safely,” said Johnson.
There are five poker rooms linked to these casinos:
- Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City
- Tropicana Atlantic City
- Golden Nugget Atlantic City
- Bally’s Atlantic City
A sixth resort, Ocean Casino, used to offer poker tables, but removed them to accommodate its new high-limit slot area.