A surge in Covid-19 cases caused Philadelphia officials to reinstate mandatory mask-wearing in public spaces. The City of Brotherly Love’s new regulations came into effect on August 12, 2021. These rules affect all public areas within Philadelphia city limits, including casinos.
Pennsylvania online casinos continue operating as usual, with many clients preferring them to land-based facilities at this time as they do not involve entry into crowded public spaces. Casinos in the Philadelphia area include Rivers Casino Philadelphia and Live! Casino Philadelphia. Employees and guests at these facilities must comply with mask-wearing regulations. Other brick-and-mortar casinos around Pennsylvania remain unaffected for now, although a sudden community spread of Covid-19 could change the status quo.
The city has indicated that businesses that require proof of vaccination may decide to exempt vaccinated individuals with proof of their status to forego wearing masks. At this stage, both affected casinos have not indicated a willingness to do so, instead choosing to apply blanket mandatory mask-wearing mandates.
Health officials predict several more Covid-19 waves unless citizens get vaccinated. Several campaigns advocating for vaccinations are ongoing. In the meantime, online operators are using this opportunity to grow the market share as part of their long-term planning. Online casinos saw a surge in popularity during lockdown months, and many patrons have indicated their intention to continue gambling online once pandemic restrictions are lifted.
They cite the convenience of online gambling as the principal reason for their decision. Patrons no longer need to travel to land-based casinos to enjoy a bit of gambling relaxation as they can do so from home using a smartphone or computer.
Looking at Covid-19 ahead
Covid-19 virus mutations indicate that the disease will be part and parcel of how people live for much longer than initially anticipated. While treatments for the virus are improving, prevention remains better than cure. There is a significant uptick of the delta variant in US infection numbers. This variant is more transmissible and seems to affect people across all age demographics.
Vaccine hesitancy remains a problem in achieving so-called herd immunity. However, persistent advertising and making vaccines accessible to all citizens are strategies that show signs of overcoming this obstacle. At this stage, health officials see no alternative but to continue urging citizens to get vaccinated. Until then, mandatory mask-wearing will continue to be part of society’s new normal.