December 21, 2021 3 min read


Mandatory Proof of COVID-19 Vaccine Required to Gamble in Philadelphia

Gamblers who are thinking of visiting a casino in Philadelphia, PA, need to be prepared. Per a recent order by the City of Brotherly Love’s mayor, there’s a new rule. No COVID-19 vaccine, no test, no service. The order applies to both the Rivers Casino and the Live! Casino & Hotel in the city.

Philadelphia Increases COVID-19 Attention

Mayor Jim Kenney announced that he would implement a vaccine mandate in any indoor venue that offers food. Rivers and Live! are the only two casinos located within the city’s limits and will need to adhere to the mandate.

Philadelphia’s mandate will take effect on January 3. However, entry to the properties will be permitted until January 17. To enter facilities subject to this order, proof of vaccination will be required after that date.

This is the first time that a US casino requires vaccination verification in order to visit the gaming floor. Philadelphia joins New York City, San Francisco, and New Orleans as the only cities with similar mandates. However, it’s unlikely that the requirement will impact the casinos’ performance, which has been strong lately.

A negative test in New Orleans or Seattle would invalidate any vaccination requirement to enter any area’s casino or cardrooms. Resorts World in Queens, New York City’s only casino. It houses only electronic slots machines until downstate gambling licenses can be issued. Because the property is on state-owned land, it wasn’t subject to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s mandate. However, in November, Governor Kathy Hochul directed that the property be subject to New York City’s mandate.

Not Much Will Change in Philly

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the new mandate isn’t going to alter significantly Philly’s entertainment scene. Many venues have already implemented a vaccine requirement, and locals are growing accustomed to the added measure.

The Wells Fargo Center, where the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA and the Philly Flyers of the NHL play, didn’t join the list initially. However, that is changing now with the new mandate. The NHL has already announced that it is putting its season on hold starting Wednesday, which means the Wells Fargo Center is going to see less hockey action for the time being.

If anyone thinks they will successfully be able to challenge the new mandates as they begin to spread across the US, they have better odds of winning the lottery. The Supreme Court has already weighed in on the matter and has rejected requests to overturn vaccine requirements. Not even using the “religious freedom” argument has been enough to sway the court.


Erik brings his unique writing talents and storytelling flare to cover a wide range of gambling topics. He has written for a number of industry-related publications over the years, providing insight into the constantly evolving world of gaming. A huge sports fan, he especially enjoys football and anything related to sports gambling. Erik is particularly interested in seeing how sports gambling and online gaming are transforming the larger gaming ecosystem.

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