A week after Hard Rock International CEO Jim Allen said its Florida casinos could be open by the end of the month, the company announced it would open its Tampa property later this week.
It will be the first Florida casino to reopen since casinos closed in mid-March in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa will be opening Thursday at 7 p.m., but poker players will notice some big changes to its poker room for the immediate future.
The Twitter account for the property’s poker room tweeted the announcement, along with a photo of what tables will look like upon reopening. The property will have a large plexiglass divider over the table that resembles what is in between a customer and a bank teller. It will also have dividers that extend out in between players.
Poker is BACK this Thursday, May 21st @ 7pm! As we prepare to welcome you back, we have made essential updates to our operations including the intro of the SAFE & SOUND program that helps to keep our guests and team members safe. Visit https://t.co/bUvbb9i9FV for more details! pic.twitter.com/oXR6BL3zLI
— SHRT Poker (@SHRTPoker) May 19, 2020
According to the company’s website, the poker room will be taking several precautions when players are back in action, aside from the dividers.
The 46-table room will only operate at 50 percent capacity and those 23 tables will have a six-player maximum. Cards and chips will be cleaned on a regular basis and masks will be required of both employees and players.
The room also announced that rake would be temporarily lowered to $3 max per hand and that it would now take call-ins to get on the list for potential games.
Last week, South Florida radio personality Andy Slater tweeted a photo of a poker room in Hialeah that was testing similar plexiglass dividers for when it reopens. With one of the state’s largest poker rooms using the dividers, it is likely that this will become the norm for poker in the Sunshine State.
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