ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- Poker is coming back to Atlantic City, with a few tweaks to accommodate the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Borgata casino said Thursday it will resume live poker play on Oct. 21. It is the first Atlantic City casino to announce the resumption of live poker.
The city's nine casinos shut down in mid-March due to the virus outbreak. When they reopened in July at reduced capacity, none offered live poker.
The Borgata said it is taking several precautions, including limiting its poker room to just 30 tables when it can hold nearly 80. It is also keeping players distanced from each other and installing clear barriers.
"We are happy to welcome back our loyal players as we reopen Atlantic City's market-leading East Coast poker destination," said Melonie Johnson, the Borgata's president and chief operating officer. "We have made some changes to enhance our guests' experience, and are excited to reintroduce live poker and the Borgata Poker brand more safely."
All poker play will be live cash games on seven-handed tables. Tournaments will not initially be offered, although they may be later.
Hand sanitizer dispensers will be accessible throughout the casino's poker room, and the casino will frequently disinfect high-touch points. Masks are required in all public areas and spectators will not be permitted.
The Borgata generated nearly $18 million in poker revenue last year, making it the leader among Atlantic City casinos.