Three casinos in the USA will reopen to gamblers in Deadwood, South Dakota. Meanwhile, Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, Florida decided to hold off on reopening their poker room this week. They will reopen the greyhound racetrack without any live spectators but decided against hosting poker games. Heading into the second weekend of May, all major casinos are closed in North America, especially in Las Vegas and Atlantic City and none of their casinos planning on opening before Memorial Day.
South Dakota is a remote but splendid part of the country known as the upper midwest. It's not a heavily populated state (885K residents) aside from the "city" (aka Sioux City with 250K residents) and a couple of sizable towns (Rapid City, Yankton). South Dakota is the fifth smallest state by both population and density, but it's fairly large (ranked #17 overall in US State size).
Governor Kristi Noem felt the coronavirus numbers were low enough top open. Less than 2,70 cases of COVID-10 were reported in South Dakota. Better, yet SD reported only 21 fatalities. The rural state will be reopening casinos because the coronavirus has not ravished the Dakotas like the Northeast or New Orleans.
Deadwood City Commission gave the go ahead to open up casinos as early as May 7. Silverado-Franklin, Cadillac Jack's, and the Deadwood Mountain Grand were among the casinos that would reopen its doors to gamblers.
Indiana is another state that will be reopening casinos Their governor announced a five-step plan to reopen the state. Casinos could be reopened at 50% capacity during step four of Indiana's five step plan. Indiana's overall target date is early June. The Horseshoe Hammond announced they will reopen on June 14.
Derby Lane, located in St Petersburg, Florida had an about-face with regard to reopening the poker room. The poker room is a part of the dog track, which used to be known as the St. Petersburg Kennel Club. It's the oldest dog track in America, which first held dog races as far back as 1925. Sheesh, for 95 years they had been running races with only intermittent stoppages for WW2 and hurricanes, and now this pandemic.
The greyhound races are back in action starting May 8, but there will not be any live spectators at the track. In addition, they will also not host any live poker at Derby Lane.
Initially, the folks at Derby Lane wanted to reopen the poker room with only six-max tables and they'd only reopen half as many tables as usual. In Vegas, four-max tables were discussed. It was interesting that Florida opted for six-handed tables.
Florida is one of the simmering hotspots for the coronavirus outbreak that devested America. Word got out that health officials in Florida were not reporting cases and deaths, which should be a huge red flag. With under-reported numbers, it is really difficult to gauge how bad things are down there in the Sunshine State, because you can't trust the "official numbers".
Ah, at least the folks at Derby Lane made the right choice and kept their poker room closed until they can get a better grasp on the situation. You can bet on the doggies, but not on the poker.
For now, no poker in Florida.
Yes, to poker in South Dakota.
And poker soon come to Indiana.
As much as Mayor Goodman wants all casinos to reopen in Las Vegas, the Strip and entire state continues to be shutdown.
And if you want your poker fix in Europe, you will have to head to the King's Casino in RozVegas. The biggest poker room in Europe will be running games (under post-pandemic scrutiny) starting May 11.