Live poker is making a comeback at Hollywood Casino in Grantville this spring, as confirmed by Tony Frabbiele, the vice president and general manager of operations at Hollywood Casino’s Pennsylvania venues. On January 24, Frabbiele announced the return of live poker, stating, “We’re excited to bring poker back. It’s something a lot of people want and we want to bring it back.” The news comes after the poker room remained closed since the COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020.
The casino plans to set up an unspecified number of poker tables adjacent to the sportsbook entrance, near the restaurant and bar area, currently housing electronic table games (ETGs). However, this is just the start of the plan, as PENN Entertainment needs to file a request with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to officially add live poker to its offerings.
Initially, live Texas Hold’em poker will be available from Friday to Sunday, with the exact business hours yet to be determined. “We’re dipping our toes in the water. We need to see what the demand is and base the hours off that,” Frabbiele commented. To accommodate this new addition, the casino is currently training and hiring dealers.
Positioning live poker next to the sportsbook is a strategic move expected to create a lively atmosphere at the property. “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,” Frabbiele added.
The restaurant and sportsbook, open daily, are transitioning to an ESPN Bet brand from the former Barstool Sports association. Frabbiele noted, “We’re still trying to figure out the next phase of that.”
In addition to Grantville, Hollywood Casino Morgantown will also launch live poker this spring. However, Hollywood Casino York will not add live poker due to space constraints. The old poker room in Grantville remains unused for now, but it will stay part of the property, with various future uses under consideration.