After Being Shut for 17 months, Rivers Casino is Reopen Poker Room
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After Being Shut for 17 months, Rivers Casino is Reopen Poker Room

After Being Shut for 17 months, Rivers Casino is Reopen Poker Room

The poker room at the Rivers Casino and Resort, which has been closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, has reopened and will operate daily from 10a.m. to 2a.m.

The poker room remained in line with COVID-19 protocols, but other amenities such as the casino, which opened in September 2020, were already operational. The casino currently operates from 6a.m to 2a.m.

Rivers Casino said they use the downtime for intensive property-wide deep cleaning in addition to the continuous sanitizing taking place throughout each day. Masks are optional for fully vaccinated guests, while those that are not vaccinated, or only partially vaccinated, from COVID-19 must continue to wear a mask.


Popular demand

The property’s management said they had to field several questions about when the poker room would re-open, as it was very popular with gamers.

“One of the questions we’ve been asked the most is when our poker room will be reopened, and we’re thrilled to announce today that it is finally coming back. The poker room is extremely popular and a big part of what makes for a fun and exciting gaming experience at the casino, and we couldn’t be happier to reopen it for our guests,” said Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady General Manager, Rick Richards.

Rivers Casino’s poker room offers a variety of 16 live poker tables, slots, and the Rivers Sportsbook.

Elliot Schecter, who has spent nearly three decades as a dealer, room leader, and tournament director across the country including Nevada and Florida, and, most recently, Ohio, and Michigan, will manage the poker room. 

For the past 10-years Elliott has been the “Call the Floor” columnist and a contributing editor at Ante Up Magazine. Pending New York State Gaming Commission approval, Elliott has exciting promotions planned for the poker room including a Bad Beat Jackpot, High Hand Jackpots and a fun, new sports-themed Hot Seat promotion during NFL football games, a prepared statement said.


COVID-19 restrictions

Rivers Casino has been easing itself back to full operations since the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in June this year. 

When former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, Rivers Casino immediately announced that it was now back to operating at full capacity. The property had been operating at between 25 and 50 percent since it was allowed to reopen in September of 2020.

At the time, Rivers Casino said it was also working on bringing back live entertainment to the Event Center and Van Slyck’s, reopening the poker room, and bringing back beverage service on the casino floor as soon as possible. 

While the reopening of the poker room is something to cheer for the Rivers Casino executives, they had more reason to celebrate, as constructors in Illinois placed the final structural beam during a topping off ceremony for the new Rivers Casino Des Plaines expansion. The structure is an $87m development that will include a poker room and additional slot machines, as well as an events ballroom and a new restaurant. It will cover 78,000 square feet.

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