The announcement is good news for the state’s casinos, which have been closed since 12 Dec. Casinos will be allowed to reopen at 8 a.m. on 4 Jan.
Wolf said the temporary closures were lifted in response to a decline in positive Covid-19 cases. Pennsylvania cases reached a high of 12,669 on 11 Dec. By 28 Dec., the number had fallen to 5,122, its lowest since late November.
Penn National Gaming said it plans to reopen Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course and the Meadows Casino and Racetrack next Monday.
The state has not yet released December gaming figures but revenue will certainly be down considerably from November, when the state earned revenue of $284m, a 2.7% year-on-year decrease.
Pennsylvania operators will be eager for a strong January fueled by optimism of a Covid-19 vaccine and a strong appetite for sports betting.
Sportsbooks should benefit next month from the NFL playoffs, college football’s national championship and the emergence of the NBA and NHL seasons. Pennsylvania is home to two NHL teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers, who will begin play in mid-January.