Illinois casinos can reopen at 9 a.m. Wednesday as the second half of a beleaguered 2020 begins.
The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) announced the July 1 resumption of casino and video gaming last week.
In the statement, Gaming Board Administrator Marcus Fruchter said the board put a collaborative plan in place with the governor’s office, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).
“The video and casino gaming industry have worked cooperatively and professionally with the IGB to develop best practices that create the safest possible environment for gaming, while adhering to (the) IDPH, DCEO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. We appreciate their cooperation and work toward the mutual goal of a resumption that protects the safety and integrity of Illinois gaming.”
Casinos were closed statewide March 16 as the COVID-19 pandemic paused much of American life.
The closure came one week after the state’s launch of sports betting. On March 9, the first Illinois retail sportsbook launched at Rivers Casino Des Plaines near Chicago.
Some casinos will open later than 9 a.m.
Illinois entered phase four of its reopening plan Friday, with museums, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses able to safely reopen their doors with capacity limits.
All 10 Illinois casinos will open Wednesday, but not every casino will open at 9 a.m.
Argosy Casino in Alton will open at 10 a.m.
Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino in East Peoria will open at 11 a.m.
Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and the Hollywood casinos in Aurora and Joliet will open at noon.
What to expect at Illinois casinos
The Illinois Gaming Board released resumption protocols on June 9, highlighting required safety measures.
Here are some of the key guidelines from the Illinois Gaming Board:
- Practice social distancing (6 feet apart).
- Limited to 50% capacity.
- No poker rooms.
- Employees and patrons must wear masks at all times.
- No buffet services.
- Temperature checks are required upon entry.
- No table games.
- No valet parking services.
Furthermore, each casino had to submit a reopening plan to the gaming board before they were approved to reopen.
Online sportsbook goes live
Despite the closures, there hasn’t been a lack of gambling news coming out of the Land of Lincoln.
This month, BetRivers launched the state’s first online sportsbook. The sportsbook, attached to Rivers Casino Des Plaines, launched without the state’s in-person registration requirement.
Argosy Casino Alton had planned to launch a sportsbook, but the pandemic put those plans on hold.