When will California Card Rooms Reopen?
In mid-March, California’s cardrooms voluntarily closed due to the Coronavirus. Now many are hoping to re-open following published guidance from the Governor’s office on June 5, and in consultation with local public health authorities. Before re-opening, cardrooms will need to be in a County that has met State readiness requirements, need to develop written safety plans and coordinate their opening with local public health orders. There are no announced reopening dates, but a few cardrooms may be able to open starting on June 12, and most other card rooms anticipate opening later this month or in early July.
The re-opening of California card rooms will likely be accompanied by written protocols submitted to state regulators designed to protect the health and safety of guests and employees. While every cardroom may need a written plan, not all plans will be the same. California cardrooms are diverse and spread across the state. They range in size from 1 table to 270 tables. They have different operations, lay-outs, and staffing. They will be subject to different county public health orders, and some cardrooms are located in areas with low infection rates. But working with public health authorities and public safety will be the important elements in each reopening plan.
On re-opening, the cardroom games and operations may look very different. For example, it will be difficult to operate short-handed poker games with only a few players per table, so poker games may not open immediately. Some games may be dealt face up so players don’t have to touch their cards. There also will be a variety of new health and safety protocols in place throughout each cardroom, depending on the state guidance and county orders.