Texas poker room, The Lodge Card Club in Round Rock, will reopen its doors on Monday, May 18. Poker players entering the establishment should be aware of the facility’s new health safety procedures.
Cardrooms all across the state, and nationwide, have been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus. And while it’s likely most will remain closed for quite some time, certain poker rooms, including The Lodge, are slowly starting to reopen. In Phoenix, for example, the popular Talking Stick Resort sent a memo to its employees informing them of a June 1 poker room reopen date.
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Talking Stick, the largest cardroom in Arizona, will limit capacity to 50%, at least for the time being. Five additional Phoenix-area casinos have already reopened, but without poker games. Many other casinos are shooting for a reopening date of Memorial Day Weekend or shortly after. But one Texas poker room is set to reopen, with restrictions, in less than two days.
Texas Poker Room Rolls the Dice
The Lone Star State has nearly 48,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, per the CDC, but plenty of residents are itching to get back to the felt.
The Lodge in Round Rock, a town just north of Austin, will only permit six-handed games at first in an attempt to adhere to social distancing guidelines. To accomplish this goal, the card club will also limit capacity to 75 people, including staff members.
Should attendance exceed 75 people, security will ask some club members to wait in their vehicles until there is space available inside the poker room.
The poker club is also putting some additional coronavirus prevention measures in place, including requiring staff to wear face masks, refusing service to those who exhibit any type of illness, requiring customers to sanitize their hands upon entry, and regularly cleaning and sanitizing chips.
Cardrooms in Texas operate differently than they do in most states due to the Lone Star State’s stringent gambling laws. Instead of taking rake, which would be illegal, the businesses operate as clubs and require that players pay for a membership. At The Lodge, daily admission costs $10. The club also offers $25 monthly and $200 annual entrance fees for those who frequent the facility.