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Harrah's reopening poker tables after Christmas
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Harrah's reopening poker tables after Christmas

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Harrah's Resort Atlantic City

Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City will be the second Atlantic City casino to bring back live poker following the industrywide shutdown earlier this year.

Ron Baumann, SVP and GM of Harrah's and Caesars Atlantic City, donates over 500 toys to Joe Ballentine of Toys for Tots on Friday at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City.

ATLANTIC CITY — Poker players will be able to put down a live bet before ringing in the new year at more than one casino.

Harrah's Resort Atlantic City will reopen its World Series of Poker-branded room on Dec. 26, according to a Caesars Entertainment Inc. spokesperson. Harrah's is just the second Atlantic City casino to bring back live poker following the industrywide shutdown earlier this year.

"Harrah’s Resort is thrilled to re-open our World Series of Poker room just in time for the new year, which will serve as the destination for poker in Atlantic City at our Caesars Entertainment resorts," said Ron Baumann, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah's and Caesars Atlantic City. "We’ve spent the last several months ensuring we had enhanced health and safety measures in place, so both our players and team members can feel confident when they play at Harrah’s, while allowing us to take an important step forward in responsibly returning more of our table games product to the market."

The poker room at Harrah's will open daily at noon and close at 4 a.m.

Seating will be limited to eight per table to encourage social distancing and polycarbonate dividers will separate players.

Masks must be worn by anyone inside an Atlantic City casino.

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Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, which has Atlantic City's largest poker room, resumed live play Oct. 21.

There are five poker rooms in Atlantic City casinos, at Bally’s Atlantic City, Borgata, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Harrah’s and Tropicana Atlantic City. Ocean Casino Resort had poker tables but removed them to make space for a new high-limit slot area.

A spokesperson for Caesars Entertainment said the company has no plans to reopen the poker room at Tropicana at this time.

In 2019, Atlantic City casinos with poker rooms reported slightly more than $27.2 million in revenue. The prior year, revenue generated from poker rooms was nearly $28.5 million.

David Danzis 2020 Fave-5 stories

2020 was an interesting and challenging time for Atlantic City and its nine casinos. The novel coronavirus derailed much of the progress that the city's gaming industry had made since the 2008-09 economic collapse and many local families and residents are, again, dealing with life-changing decisions as a result. 

According to data reported by the casinos to state gaming regulators, Borgata was far and away the biggest benefactor of poker. The market leader also boasts the city’s largest poker room with 77 tables. In 2019, Borgata generated nearly $17.9 million in poker revenue.

The Caesars properties with their World Series of Poker-branded rooms — Bally’s (now under new ownership and no longer affiliated with the WSOP) and Harrah’s — reported a combined $4.925 million in 2019. Tropicana reported just over $2 million last year, while Golden Nugget and Ocean generated $1.037 million and $1.386 million, respectively.

Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the city's nine casinos to close on March 16 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The casinos were permitted to reopen July 2.

Contact: 609-272-7222

ddanzis@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressDanzis

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Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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