Live Poker Comeback Expected Soon With News Of COVID-19 Vaccine Approval
COVID-19 cases may still be on the rise across the globe, but there’s fresh optimism that things could return to normal soon. This is due to the development of five vaccines that have recently undergone clinical trials to test how effective they are in combating the deadly virus. In fact, one of them is already gearing up for mass rollout after gaining approval from the UK government.
The approval of the COVID-19 vaccine is good news for a lot of industries including the live poker scene.
The live poker scene is among industries that are still reeling from the enormous impact of the worldwide COVID-19 lockdowns. Casinos and poker rooms have been forced to close their doors since mid-March, and while some have since reopened, a handful of establishments have decided to shut down permanently.
Major live poker tournaments which traditionally attract thousands of poker fans and players around the world each year, were either cancelled or moved to the virtual felts.
Las Vegas, home to the world’s most vibrant live poker scene prior to the pandemic, as well as many other poker hubs in the US, are currently in the early stages of reopening, and while the threat of COVID-19 still lingers, news of vaccine approval offers fresh hopes that live poker events will very soon return to their normal busy state, though at different paces all over the world.
A 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event is currently underway and will crown a winner at The Rio in Vegas on December 30, signaling a live poker comeback in the US, but over in Europe, progress could be slower owing to different government regulations and ongoing travel restrictions.
Nevertheless, live poker operators and tournament brands are expected to come out with some sort of “feeler” events most probably during the first half of 2021 to gauge player interest.
In the meantime though, everyone playing at live poker venues are required to continue to comply with safety protocols, such as wearing a facemask, frequently sanitizing hands and observing physical distancing.
Will America Follow The UK’s Lead?
This week, the UK gave the nod on a coronavirus vaccine claiming to offer up to 95% protection against COVID-19 infection. The country became the first in the world to approve a vaccine to combat the disease.
The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been deemed safe for rollout, following a stringent, fast-tracked data analysis that falls in line with strict effectiveness, quality, and safety standards.
America is yet to make a decision on the vaccine distribution but expect one to be made soon.