It looks like we have one of the first major poker industry victims of the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 lockdowns, as all Genting poker rooms in the UK look set to close and all poker staff are being made redundant.
No official announcement has been made but the locals in the 40 UK locations found out yesterday on social media. It appears that while the casinos themselves will remain open, they will no longer host poker games.
This is no doubt due to how difficult it would be to run poker games at a nine handed table plus a dealer while maintaining social distancing. Poker has mostly been a loss leader for UK casinos, so the cost of running the games is clearly a factor too.
UK casinos have been given the go ahead to reopen on July 4 with reduced capacity and strict social distancing guidelines.
While they rarely hosted large events (other than their Genting Poker Tour), Genting poker rooms were usually very popular at a local level. This writer was a regular at the Genting Sheffield and it was a wonderful card room with great staff. In particular they were always ahead of the curve with things like single antes and shot clocks. They will be dearly missed.
How has Covid-19 affected your local card room? Let us know in the comments: