The city of New Orleans isn’t messing around with the pandemic. Starting August 16, patrons at most New Orleans businesses, including casinos, will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result.
Harrah’s New Orleans, a frequent WSOP Circuit stop, will become the first casino in the U.S. to require guests to prove they are vaccinated or have a recent COVID-19 test result. Many locals aren’t too thrilled with the mandate, and some have voiced their displeasure on social media.
Even fans attending New Orleans Saints NFL games in the fall will be subjected to the new mandate. And some of even the most loyal Saints fans appear to be a bit disturbed by the news.
“Pay $100 per ticket plus concessions to watch in person in a mask or watch free at home? This is a tough one. Enjoy the Ls on attendance and concessions,” @dadbodXL tweeted.
“Yall about to be forced to take a massive L on attendance and people wanting refunds on their tickets. Not to mention any other profits you get from the dome ie concessions,” @Darb04 informed the football team.
Further Impact on Poker in the U.S.
Harrah’s New Orleans, a Caesars Entertainment property, has 20 card tables in the main poker room and is a favorite stop among tournament and cash game grinders in the area. But some of those players might be turned off by the city mandate and instead head to a casino outside of New Orleans or nearby.
With that said, Harrah’s New Orleans likely won’t be the only casino required to deny admission for non-vaccinated guests. The city of Los Angeles is considering implementing a similar policy, which means card rooms such as Commerce Casino and The Bicycle Club could soon be forced to do the same. And with businesses — restaurants, bars, retail stores — around the country contemplating similar requirements, poker players should prepare for the inevitable, at least in certain cities and states.
As for the WSOP, which begins September 30 in Las Vegas, vaccines aren’t required, for now. But those who aren’t fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and are determined to have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 could be disqualified from a tournament.