Four Los Angeles poker rooms will reopen their doors on Friday for the first time in three months. Commerce Casino, Bicycle Club (aka, The Bike), Hustler Casino, and Gardens Casino are ready to get back to business.
Edit: Hollywood Park Casino announced on Thursday the poker room will reopen on Monday, June 22.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently relaxed restrictions in Los Angeles County, allowing casinos to reopen. Southern California is home to some of the largest poker rooms in the world, including Commerce Casino, which is the world’s biggest card room with 184 tables.
LA Poker Rooms Taking Precautions
Due to the coronavirus, the LA card rooms will be changing the way you play poker. At Commerce Casino, for example, tables will be limited to eight players, all of whom will be required to wear a face mask. Additionally, the casino won’t permit players to eat while playing. That applies to tables games as well.
Commerce and the other three Los Angeles poker rooms set to reopen Friday will open their doors at 6 am. Hollywood Park Casino, however, will remain closed for the time being. ESPN poker commentator Norman Chad, who frequents the card room, doesn’t think that’s a bad thing.
I do not believe the L.A. card rooms should be reopening yet, but I love the fact that The Gardens, Commerce, Bicycle and Hustler casinos are back in business Friday while my home turf – Hollywood Park – is still cleaning its two restrooms.
— Norman Chad (@NormanChad) June 17, 2020
Chad belongs to the group of poker players who believe COVID-19 is too contagious for poker rooms to reopen. California has more than 163,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 5,286 deaths.
But it’s clear that many poker players aren’t afraid of catching the virus. Or, they don’t think the virus is serious. In Las Vegas, for example, four card rooms have reopened, with three more reopening this week, all of which have been quite busy despite the short-handed restrictions. Ditto for the poker rooms in Florida that have reopened over the past few weeks.
Bicycle Casino, one of the top Los Angeles poker rooms, is among those reopening Friday. But the casino has yet to announce when will it will bring back its popular “Live at the Bike” live-streamed cash game show. For the time being, LATB’s YouTube channel is airing replays of past episodes.
“In light of the COVID-19 situation, things will look a little different as we reopen. We want to make sure we are operating in a way that keeps you and our team members safe. We will take a phased approach to reopen, limiting some gaming and amenities to start, and reintroducing them overtime when it is safe to do so once again,” The Bike’s website reads.