Following an extended absence, live poker is scheduled to come back to Hollywood Casino in Grantville this upcoming spring, casino executives said.
The vice president and general manager of operations at Hollywood Casino’s Pennsylvania venues, Tony Frabbiele, verified on January 24 that live poker will officially come back to the casino during the 1st quarter or during the early period of the 2nd quarter of 2024. Commenting on it, he added: “We’re excited to bring poker back. It’s something a lot of people want and we want to bring it back.”
Furthermore, the aforementioned Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course never reopened its poker room after the March 2020 COVID-19 shutdown, much to the disapproval of the large number of players.
Relatedly, Frabbiele stated that an unspecified amount of poker tables will be set up next to the entrance to the sportsbook, where the restaurant and bar are located. At the moment, the designated space for the poker features electronic table games (ETGs).
However, the plan is still in its initial phase, according to him. PENN Entertainment have to file a request to the Pennsylvania’s gaming regulator, aka the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), to officially add live poker to its existing offerings.
The casino is preparing for the return of live poker:
At the beginning, live Texas Hold’em poker with different cash prizes, will be accessible to players from Friday to Sunday, with specific business hours to be decided. Commenting on this, Frabbiele commented: “We’re dipping our toes in the water. We need to see what the demand is and base the hours off that.”
In this sense, the mentioned casino will have to increase the number of employees for the live poker addition. Right now, dealers are being trained and hired. Placing player-favorite live poker next to the bookmaker is the thing the casino executives hope will generate excitement at the property.
On that note, Frabbiele commented: “We love the energy of poker and the sportsbook. We also have horse racing (wagering) terminals in the sportsbook along with our food and beverage offerings. It should add up to quite the poker experience.”
The restaurant and sportsbook is open every day of the week, and is undergoing a transitioning process to become an ESPN Bet-branded property from its previous Barstool Sports association. Speaking about it, Frabbiele said: “We’re still trying to figure out the next phase of that.”
However, he also pointed out that live poker will also be launched in the Hollywood Casino Morgantown area this coming spring. But Hollywood Casino York won’t be adding the aforementioned live poker because of the limited space.
As for the old poker room in Grantville, it stays bricked up. But in the long term, it will stay part of the property and various options are being contemplated.
Then, the shuttered restaurant on the 3rd floor, which served as a location of a Tattered Flag Brewery, is currently being redecorated. In addition, it will be used for Valentine’s Day as a Taylor Swift-themed pop-up bar. In this regard, Frabbiele commented according to PennLive: “We’re going to try different things up in that space.”