UK Poker Rooms Set To Open Next Week After COVID-19 Easing
Casinos and poker rooms are set to reopen in next week, in line with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the UK.
Poker players may return to action at the live tables starting May 17, with cash games and tournaments being offered in some of the country’s popular poker venues, such as Grosvenor, London’s Hippodrome Casino and Aspers. In November 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced another nationwide lockdown, ordering all casinos and non-essential businesses to shut their doors.
Casino operations have been generally suspended for around five months across the UK, and now the industry can finally breathe a sigh of relief as casinos and poker rooms in the UK can now resume accepting customers with minimal restrictions.
Grosvenor Casinos To Run Cash Games & MTTs
Grosvenor Casinos owns and operates dozens of poker clubs in the UK, and 31 of them will be back in business beginning Monday, May 17, initially offering cash games, with tournaments also running in eight poker rooms. To celebrate the reopening, Grosvenor will run a new promotion called “Big Reunion” which will award £300,000 in prizes to customers.
The eight Grosvenor rooms offering MTTs starting Monday are Grosvenor Luton, Grosvenor Leeds, Grosvenor Walsall, Grosvenor Coventry, Grosvenor Bury New Road Manchester, Grosvenor Birmingham Hill Street, Grosvenor Portsmouth and The Vic London.
Everyone entering Grosvenor poker rooms will still be required to wear a facemask, and players will be separated from each other through plexiglass dividers on each table. The clubs will also operate at limited capacity, initially allowing seven-handed games. Customers are encouraged to pre-register, otherwise they need to arrive early so they can secure a seat.
The Hippodrome in London will also reopen its doors on May 17, so will Aspers casinos in several locations across England. Both companies will also implement mandatory wearing of facemasks, social distancing, as well as player and table caps, with plexiglass partitions also installed in every table.
After England, poker rooms in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland are also expected to resume operations.
UK Live Poker Returning to Normal Soon
The COVID-19 situation across the UK has seen significant improvements since last year, which is good news for the entire live poker industry. In 2020, when casinos initially reopened, they were only allowed to run cash games. Stringent restrictions made it impossible to host tournaments.
Now, as the UK is close to recording its lowest COVID-19 infections since September 2020, there’s high probability that live poker will return to normal in the coming months. In fact, the government is planning to lift the final wave of restrictions on June 21.