Bestbet Jacksonville Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19, Poker Room Remains Open

An employee at the Bestbet Jacksonville poker and racing facility in Jacksonville, Florida, tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, according to a spokesperson.

Bestbet Jacksonville coronavirus test

Bestbet Jacksonville reported that an employee tested positive for COVID-19, but the facility will remain open. (Image: Matt Savage/Twitter)

The Bestbet spokesperson said that the employee in question was asymptomatic and had tested positive in the 24 hours prior to the announcement, which came on Sunday evening.

Bestbet Jacksonville Reopened with Fewer Players, Masks Required

Despite the test, Bestbet doesn’t plan on closing its poker room. However, it is seeking out individuals who came into contact with the employee. The spokesperson said that Bestbet is following CDC guidelines, which include “enhanced cleaning” of the establishment.

Like nearly every other gaming venue in the US, Bestbet Jacksonville shut down on March 17 due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. Prior to that decision, patrons reported that the poker room was providing customers with gloves, and asking visitors to sit one seat apart from each other.

That changed on Friday, May 22, when Bestbet reopened its facilities in Jacksonville and Orange Park. The new rules implemented temperature tests and masks for all players and employees, as well as regular use of hand sanitizer. All games ran six-handed, and the room allowed only 50% occupancy at any time. However, Bestbet didn’t install plexiglass or any other partitions between players.

Bestbet Jacksonville runs the annual World Poker Tour Bestbet Bounty Scramble in October, which offered a guaranteed $1 million in prize money for its main event in 2019. The room, which holds 70 poker tables, hosts live streaming poker games and numerous tournaments throughout the year.

Coronavirus Cases on the Rise Throughout Florida

The facility has traditionally hosted live greyhound racing, but Florida voters overwhelmingly supported a measure to ban dog races in November 2018. That ban will go into effect in 2021, though Bestbet currently only runs races out of its Orange Park facility.

Bestbet Jacksonville has been looking to expand its offerings. Back in 2017, the facility applied to add 2,000 slot machines after Duval County voters approved an amendment that authorized slots at the track. State gaming regulators blocked the move, as the referendum wasn’t authorized under state law.

The positive COVID-19 test comes as coronavirus cases are increasing rapidly throughout the state of Florida. According to The New York Times, more than 100,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state, and the disease has caused more than 3,100 deaths. Cases in Duval County are spiking – averaging about 130 per day at the moment – though the majority of infections continue to occur in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

CardsChat News
Written by
CardsChat News
CardsChat News serves the global CardsChat community, providing news, opinion, and insight that matters to poker players around the world.


Greg wrote...

I see Bestbet must have you on patrol. They are not following CDC guidelines as far as cleaning and the number of capacity a people coming into the game room. Also, did you know that the individual who tested positive tried to call into her shift and said that she wasn’t feeling well and had a covid-19 test done but haven’t received her results yet. She was threatened with her job if she didn’t come in. Hours into her shift that she came in to work she was notified that she tested positive. On the bestbet switch room any individuals that have commented or have questions regarding procedures and what bestbet is going to do, their comments are deleted. Bestbet is out for money and does not care about their employees or the patrons that come into their facility. Following CDC guidelines my ass! When you have patrons hopping from seat to seat and employees getting yelled at for washing their hands too often something has got to give. If you’re going to report something report the truth.


Concerned poker player wrote...

I was told 4 dealers have now tested positive. There are tons of players whose masks are below their nose, spectators not keeping social distances as the room promises, and they need to change to eating only in designated areas. People are allowed to take off mask while eating and then touching the cards in between bites when they just had their hands in their mouth.


Voice of Reason wrote...

Sorry, my first comment was meant for Greg.

Voice of Reason wrote...

You seem to be disgruntled, for some reason. bestbet has been a leader in how businesses should reopen. Mandatory temperature scan of every person that enters the building, Mandatory wearing of face masks and hand sanitizer sprayed on the hands of all that enter the buildings. Not just the front door, this applies to employees and delivery persons as well. You have a better chance catching the virus at the grocery store.
It is my understanding that the dealer that tested positive contracted the virus when at a social gathering without any using any safeguards such as masks and sanitizer. And as of the writing of this comment is the only person testing positive for the corona virus.
I would think that if a persons job were threatened for any reason that the best approach would be to take it up the chain of command, all the way to top management, rather than complaining to people that can not do anything about the problem. That is just plain gossiping.
I think you are just an angry person.

No one really cares wrote...

We have tried calling out management they refuse to answer us. They told us to durect it to HR and then deleted Greg’s post about it. Temp checks don’t stop asymptomatic people come coming in. We have players touching their nose and mouth and we can only call them out…if they get disgruntled with us only then can we escalate it and kick them out. One of our players is in the ICU right now with covid. On last Wednesdays livestream you can see a player with his mask off for over 20 minutes playing and no one said anything at all to him, players, floor, or dealers. Most employees are taking their masks off in the breakroom thus the spread with employees.


Greg wrote...



Truth wrote...

Chain of command lol that’s funny, you must not work at best bet.

It’s a money driven industry that had nearly every game opened on the 20th for the huge high hand promotion they ran. They are absolutely not following social distancing guidelines and it will turn back on them. Money is more important to best bet then the employees. It’s honestly sad.


Susan Korsedal wrote...

Being a concerned spouse of someone who wants t resume playing poker in Jacksonville how many players are playing in this card room on a Sunday. We also help watch are grand kids as well.

Brian wrote...

This will be the situation in all rooms over the next few weeks as greedy , irresponsible casino operators drop the rake and promotional money from smaller pots while the virus makes its’ way around the room on chips, cards and airborne.
Poker needs to take a very long break !! Stay safe people.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Did you know about our poker forum?

Discuss all the latest poker news in the CardsChat forum