Live Poker Making a Comeback at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse

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After a long time of absence, Hollywood Casino just announced the Live Poker room at Pennsylvania’s Penn National Racecourse will be making a comeback. This widely loved gaming space is set to be reintroduced this spring.

This announcement was followed by news of the Pennsylvania PA Hollywood Casino rebrand. Poker players across the state eagerly await the return while operators continue to work to finalize the mandatory permits with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

“We’re thrilled to be having live poker back. Lots of people wanted it, and we’re working to bring it back,” said Tony Frabbiele, the Vice President and General Manager of the Hollywood Casino chain during a press conference on January 24th.

The Live Poker room, like many other facilities nationwide, shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has unfortunately remained closed with no real timeframe for reopening.

The decision to reopen live poker after an extended period of silence can be attributed to the passionate regulars who play Penn National Racecourse and advocated for its return.

Back and Better Than Ever

The new and improved poker room seeks to bring back what people know and love but with some improvements made. Purposely placed, the poker tables will be right beside the entrance to the sportsbook where the restaurant and bar are located for the ease and enjoyment of the players.

Post COVID-19, the only tables that were available to use were the RNG poker tables (ETGs). But with the reopening, live dealer poker will be available for players.

During the early operations, live Texas Hold’em poker with various cash prizes will be available for players from Friday to Sunday with specific hours still undecided. In regards to this, Frabbiele said: “We’re dipping our toes in the water. We need to see what the demand is and base the hours off of that.”

Preparing the Casino and Training New Live Dealers

This new direction for Hollywood casinos will see a significant increase in staffing with the addition of live poker. The casino is currently hiring and in the process of training a new team of professional live poker dealers. The casino executives hope that by placing life poker next to the bookmaker will lead to overall enthusiasm.

“We love the energy of poker and the sportsbook. We also have horse racing (wagering) terminals in the sportsbook along with our food and beverage offerings. It should add up to quite the poker experience,” said Frabbiele.

While the restaurant and sportsbooks are available now seven days a week for players, it is also undergoing some transitions. It is currently branded by the Barstool Sports Association, however, the facility is moving to become an ESPN Bet-branded property. In reference to this change, Frabbiele said, “We’re still trying to figure out the next phase of that.”

What’s Happening in Neighboring Casinos in Pennsylvania

Frabbiele reminded players that live poker will also be introduced in the Hollywood Casino Morgantown area this spring. It was mentioned that Hollywood Casino York announced it would not be adding live poker due to space limitations.

In regards to the old poker room in Grantville, it will remain closed but stay a part of the property. Different options for how to utilize the space are being talked about.