Live Updates: Jumer’s Poker Room Reopens Finally

Posted By Joe Boozell on November 17, 2020 - Last Updated on July 14, 2021

Jumer’s poker room opens today

July 14, 2021

After months of waiting, Jumer’s Casino & Hotel in Rock Island announced the reopening of its poker room. Currently, poker room hours are 4 p.m. to midnight, Wednesdays through Sundays.

The casino along the Iowa state line was recently acquire by Bally’s Corporation.

The two other poker rooms in Illinois are at Grand Victoria Casino Elgin and Hollywood Casino Aurora.

 

Card dealers wanted and more: Rivers Casino expansion includes hiring 400 employees

The Des Plaines casino needs to hire 400 employees by next spring.

The reopening of Illinois casinos on June 11 has created a pinch in staffing, especially at Rivers.

The facility also plans to roll out 725 new gaming positions, including a 22-table poker room with its Rivers Casino expansion. Rivers is hosting walk-in interviews every Wednesday. Here’s a link to job offerings at Rivers.

According to Corey Wise, the general manager of Rivers Casino, dealers make $55,000 or more the first year. Rivers also announced earlier this month that non-tipped employees are paid a minimum of $15 per hour.

 

All Illinois casinos reopen to full capacity, along with state, Chicago

A return to — somewhat — normalcy is here. Illinois entered Phase 5 on June 11, which means all businesses, events, venues, etc., can operate at full capacity.

Every Illinois casino is allowed to operate 24/7 and at 100% capacity, but it’s best to be mindful that they might have health and safety protocols in place. Illinois’ 10 casinos are:

  • Argosy, Alton
  • DraftKings at Casino Queen, East St. Louis
  • Grand Victoria, Elgin
  • Harrah’s Joliet
  • Harrah’s Metropolis
  • Hollywood Aurora
  • Hollywood Joliet
  • Jumer’s, Rock Island
  • Par-A-Dice, East Peoria
  • Rivers Casino, Des Plaines

Get a free drink

Hollywood Aurora and Argosy Alton casinos are taking part in Gov. JB Pritzker’s incentive to get vaccinated by offering a free drink to casino customers with proof of vaccination.

Grand Victoria opens poker room

June 7, 2021

Via a Facebook post on Friday, June 4, Grand Victoria Casino announced its plans to open the poker room today.

Poker room hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. The room will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays weekly.

Illinois poker players are encouraged to call 1-847-531-7753 to reserve their seat.

Hollywood Casino Aurora opened its poker room on May 21. Its hours are 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Wednesdays through Sundays (closed Monday and Tuesday).

There’s no update on Jumer’s poker room status.

No mask requirement at most Illinois casinos

May 24, 2021

Most Illinois casinos have announced via social media that they are currently following the latest CDC guidelines. Those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 no longer need to wear a face mask. The casinos are:

  • Argosy
  • DraftKings at Casino Queen
  • Grand Victoria
  • Harrah’s Metropolis
  • Harrah’s Joliet
  • Hollywood Aurora
  • Hollywood Joliet
  • Jumer’s
  • Par-A-Dice
  • Rivers Casino

Grand Victoria Casino mask policy

May 21, 2021

Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin updated its mask policy to follow the latest CDC guidelines.

The casino no longer requires guests who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to wear a face mask. If you have received 100% of the dosages required of the vaccine and are two weeks post inoculation, you do not have to wear a mask at Grand Victoria.

Grand Victoria’s announcement didn’t include whether you must present your vaccination card. Those who haven’t completed the immunization process must wear a face covering.

Hollywood Casino Aurora poker room to open Friday

May 18, 2021

According to general manager Greg Moore, the poker room at Hollywood Casino Aurora will reopen Friday, May 21.

Moore said in a video on Facebook that there will be limited tables until staffing numbers increase. He encouraged Illinois poker players to get their names on the list before Friday.

Here are the main details:

  • No food at tables
  • Drinks are OK
  • Masks are required
  • Eight players per table
  • The bad beat will start where it ended, which was at $43,198.

Grand Victoria Casino is working toward opening its poker room, per an announcement on the casino’s Facebook page on May 14.

There’s no update on Jumer’s poker room status.

 

Illinois to enter new reopening phase, gaining capacity at casinos; CDC relaxes mask recommendations

May 14, 2021

The sky seems bluer and the grass seems greener in Illinois. On May 14, Illinois entered the next-to-last phase of reopening.

During the “bridge phase,” capacity limits increase to 60% in most retail situations, including casinos.

Chicago Major Lori Lightfoot said on Thursday that the vaccinated individuals would not count toward capacity limits. For example, more than 10 vaccinated people could sit at a table at a restaurant.

The spectator event capacity jumps to 60% from 25% on Friday. The White Sox and Chicago Cubs will kick off this accommodation for home games starting May 24. Furthermore, Gov. JB Pritzker said during a press conference on Thursday, the Cubs and White Sox will offer exclusive seating for vaccinated fans at Wrigley and Guaranteed Rate fields.

When will Illinois poker rooms reopen? Illinois Casino Gaming Association director Tom Swoik told PlayIllinois this week that casinos are allowed to open poker rooms and buffets, but it’s up to the casinos themselves.

The CDC relaxed its mask recommendations on Thursday to say that vaccinated individuals could go without a face covering in most situations. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said:

“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor or outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing.”

State officials are hopeful the state will be completely reopen by June 11.

 

Illinois to enter ‘bridge phase’ next week

May 6, 2021

In a press conference today, Gov. JB Pritzker said Illinois will enter the next reopening phase on May 14, with a full reopening set for June 11.

The “bridge phase” is one step shy of full reopening. This phase would bump most capacity guidelines from 50% to 60%.

Casinos are not explicitly mentioned in the state’s plan, though we should learn more about how the bridge phase affects casino capacity once we get there.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently announced a goal of fully reopening Chicago by July 4.

 

DraftKings casino among reopening today

Jan. 23, 2021

DraftKings at Casino Queen and Argosy Casino have opened as of Saturday morning. With that, all 10 Illinois casinos have officially reopened.

 

Joliet casinos reopen

Jan. 21, 2021 

Hollywood Casino Joliet and Harrah’s Joliet will reopen their doors on Friday morning, per their respective Facebook pages.

That makes eight of Illinois’ 10 casinos that have reopened. Argosy Casino Alton and DraftKings at Casino Queen remain closed, however.

That’s because Region 4 is currently in the worst shape of any Illinois healthcare region.

 

Hawthorne Race Course reopens

Jan. 20, 2021

Hawthorne Race Course, in Stickney, announced its reopening on Wednesday evening via Twitter. The horse racetrack is located in Region 10, which recently met Illinois’ Tier 2 guidelines.  The facility and its six OTB sites are home to PointsBet Sportsbook.

 

Jan. 19, 2021

Rivers Casino, Hollywood Casino Aurora and Grand Victoria Casino Elgin have reopened as of Tuesday.

They join Par-A-Dice Casino, Harrah’s Metropolis and Jumer’s Casino & Hotel on the list of Illinois casinos that are open.

That makes six out of IL’s 10 casinos that have reopened their doors.

DraftKings at Casino Queen, Argosy Casino Alton, Hollywood Casino Joliet and Harrah’s Joliet currently do not meet Illinois’ Tier 2 guidelines. Once they do, they can also reopen.

Based on COVID-19 metrics, it’s likely that the Joliet casinos will open before DraftKings at Casino Queen or Argosy Casino Alton, both located in Region 4.

 

Jan. 15, 2021

Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria, Jumer’s Casino & Hotel and Harrah’s Metropolis reopened their doors at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16.

Hollywood Casino Joliet, meanwhile, has put a halt on its plans to reopen on Friday. It says it is “close” to meeting Tier 2 guidelines, so stay on the lookout.

Harrah’s Joliet would also be able to open up once Region 7 meets Tier 2 guidelines.

We haven’t word from any other casino at this time.

Jan. 15, 2021

Gov. JB Pritzker spoke on Friday about moving from Tier 3 to Tier 2, and mentioned how the first UK strain has been found in Chicago. However, that didn’t stop him from allowing certain regions to progress into Tier 2, which would allow certain casinos to reopen at 25% capacity.

 

Jan. 14, 2021

Nothing is official yet, but it looks like a handful of Illinois casinos could reopen on Friday.

Pritzker has said that any region which meets certain COVID-19 criteria can move from ‘Tier 3’ to ‘Tier 2,’ where casinos can reopen at 25% capacity.

As of this writing, Par-A-Dice Casino, Hollywood Casino Joliet, Harrah’s Joliet and Jumer’s Casino & Hotel are on track to reopen on Friday.

Hollywood Joliet has stated that it may be able to reopen on Friday, while Par-A-Dice has reportedly told employees to expect to return then.

 

Jan. 6, 2021 

As Illinois’ COVID-19 numbers improve ever-so-slightly, Gov. JB Pritzker offered a glimmer of hope.

“We do want to get everything open as soon as possible. We are heading, generally speaking, in the right direction,” he said.

Indoor dining is considered to be in Tier 1 of Illinois mitigations, while casinos are in Tier 2. We are currently in Tier 3.

In order to return to Tier 2, regions must post a case positivity rate below 8% for a sustained time period.

As of this update, the statewide positivity rate is 8.4%. If we return to Tier 2, casinos could reopen at 25% capacity.

“We’ll get there, I believe, shortly, and we want to see how the Christmas and New Year’s holidays go,” he said of indoor dining.

Once we are two weeks past the new year, it will be interesting to see how the numbers look.

December 2020

Dec. 23, 2020

During Gov. JB Pritzker’s live update on the coronavirus pandemic, the governor hinted the closure of restaurants, including casinos, will continue for weeks.

Dec. 11, 2020

As Illinois casinos remain ordered closed, Gov. JB Pritzker extended the executive order to allow the online registration of sports betting accounts until Jan. 9.

The state experienced its “deadliest” week since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with 1,079 deaths reported, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Dec. 1, 2020

All Illinois casinos have been closed since Nov. 20, and that won’t change any time soon, according to Gov. JB Pritzker.

On Dec. 1, Pritzker said that Tier 3 mitigations will last for at least “the next few weeks.” The state is bracing for a COVID-19 surge following the Thanksgiving holiday.

Illinois is still experiencing record hospitalizations, even though its positivity rate is starting to tick downward.

November 2020

Nov. 20, 2020

All Illinois casinos closed on Friday, Nov. 20, per Pritzker’s orders.

The closure also affects Hawthorne Race Course and its PointsBet retail sportsbook locations.

The move comes as Illinois imposes new Tier 3 resurgence mitigations. Indoor venues such as retail stores and fitness centers must reduce capacity to 25%, while casinos and indoor dining must shut down entirely.

Per the state of Illinois’ website, “This new tier aims to limit gatherings and encourages people to stay home to the greatest extent possible, while permitting some industries to remain open at significantly reduced capacities with proper safety measures in place.”

There is no firm reopening date for casinos at this time. That will depend on Illinois’ COVID-19 numbers in the coming weeks and months.

Nov. 17, 2020

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker will shut down casinos and video gaming terminals (VGTs) effective midnight on Friday, Nov. 20, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The move comes as Illinois is in the midst of arguably its worst COVID-19 stretch to date. Along with gaming facilities, the governor is closing movie theaters, indoor recreational facilities and reducing capacity at retail centers during the busiest shopping season of the year.

During Pritzker’s press conference on Tuesday, he didn’t indicate when reopening would be possible.

Casinos had previously reopened in July after being closed since March. Most have operated at 50% capacity and limited hours since, though certain hot zone regions have only been operating at 25% capacity.

Currently, all Illinois casinos are only allowed 25% capacity. But they will close completely at the end of this week. Pritzker also green-lit video gaming resumption in July, but the state’s tens of thousands of terminals will close once again on Friday.

While the move isn’t shocking, it’s another blow to an already reeling retail gaming industry.

So, what’s the deal with casinos right now? Return here for the latest updates on Illinois casinos and sportsbooks. Here’s what we know.

Cliff notes on Illinois casino restrictions

If and when casinos reopen, here’s a quick guide on the health and safety language you’ll see at Illinois casinos and what it means:

  • What does “capacity limit” mean? For a business to have space to ensure six feet of social distance between every customer, the business must limit the number of people who can be inside at one time.
  • What is PPE? It stands for personal protective equipment, which includes face masks, shields and gloves.
  • What is COVID-19 training? It’s an educational program that teaches proper hand washing, cleaning and sanitizing techniques and properly utilizing PPE.

Latest Illinois casino updates

Is Jumer’s Casino & Hotel open?

Yes, Jumer’s Casino & Hotel is open and operating under Phase 4 mitigations.

  • Location: Rock Island, Rock Island County, Region 2
  • Temporary Casino Hours: 8 a.m.-3 a.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 8 a.m.-5 a.m. Fridays-Saturdays
  • Limited Capacity: 50%
  • Required PPE: Guests must bring and wear a face covering. Employees will wear a face covering.
  • Air Quality: Air exchange systems “have been bolstered.”
  • Hotel: Open
  • Poker Room: Closed
  • Restaurants and Bars: DJ’s Steakhouse, Blue Square To Go and Oculus Sports Bar are open. Player’s Buffet is closed. Food and beverage service returns to casino gaming floor on Jan. 27.
  • Protocols: As part of the “Play It Safe” program, an on-site clean team can clean all surfaces and dispense hand sanitizer to guests. Guest must socially distance. Employees will undergo a daily health check. The casino tracks incoming visitors via a registry.

Is Par-A-Dice Casino open?

Yes, Par-A-Dice Casino & Hotel is open and operating under Phase 4 mitigations.

  • Location: East Peoria, Tazwell County, Region 2
  • Temporary Casino Hours: 8 a.m.-2 a.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 8 a.m.-4 a.m Fridays-Saturdays; table game open at 10 a.m. daily
  • Limited Capacity: 50%
  • Required PPE: Employees and guests must wear face coverings. One will be given to guests “free of charge upon request.”
  • Air Quality: Air filter replacement and HVAC system cleaning are increased. This is a nonsmoking facility.
  • Hotel: Open
  • FanDuel Sportsbook: Open
  • Restaurants and Bars: Boyd’s Steakhouse, Options Buffet, the Tin Lizard Bar & Grill, Nelson’s Deli are open. Bourbon’s is temporarily closed.
  • Protocols: As part of the “Boyd Clean,” program, all employees receive COVID-19 training. Employees will undergo daily health screening. Guest must socially distance. An on-site clean team is available to clean all surfaces and dispense hand sanitizer to guests.

Is Argosy Casino open?

No, Argosy Casino is open and operating under Phase 4 mitigations.

  • Location: Alton, Madison County, Region 4
  • Temporary Casino Hours: 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 9 a.m.-3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays
  • Limited Capacity: 50%
  • Air Quality: Nonsmoking facility
  • Required PPE: Employees must wear a mask and undergo daily health screenings. Guests must wear face masks when not eating or drinking.
  • Sportsbook at Argosy: Open
  • Restaurants and Bars: Hops House is open from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. for to-go orders only. Captain’s Table Buffet and the VIP Lounge are temporarily closed.
  • Protocols: “Safe Bet Initiative” includes sanitizer stations, social distancing guidelines and regularly sanitized game machines. There is no valet service at this time.

Is DraftKings at Casino Queen open?

No, DraftKings at Casino Queen is open and operations under Phase 4 mitigations.

  • Location: East St. Louis, St. Clair County, Region 4
  • Temporary Casino Hours: 8 a.m.-11 p.m. daily
  • Limited Capacity: 5o%
  • Air Quality: Nonsmoking facility that hosts a “rigorously maintained” HVAC system.
  • Required PPE: Employees and guests must wear face masks. Employees also must wear gloves when necessary.
  • Hotel: Open with limited amenities.
  • DraftKings Sportsbook: Open
  • Restaurants and Bars: Deli & ChipsPrime Cafe and SEVENS are open.
  • Protocols: The “Queen Clean” protocols include sanitizer stations, floor signage, social distancing, fogging equipment and regular sanitation of “high-touch” surfaces. Employees must undergo COVID-19 safety training. Valet isn’t available at this time.

Is Harrah’s Metropolis open?

Yes, Harrah’s Metropolis Casino is open and operating under Phase 4 mitigations.

  • Location: Metropolis, Massac County, Region 5
  • Temporary Casino Hours: 8 a.m.-6 a.m. daily
  • Limited Capacity: 50%
  • Required PPE: All employees and guests must wear a face mask.
  • Air Quality: Unknown
  • Hotel: Open with limited amenities.
  • Restaurants and Bars: Bridges Dining Company is open daily.
  • Protocols: Using Caesars‘ safety procedures, social distancing is required. Hand sanitizer stations are throughout the casino-resort. Employees have undergone proper COVID-19 training.

Is Harrah’s Joliet open?

Yes, Harrah’s Joliet Casino is open and operating under Phase 4 mitigations.

  • Location: Joliet, Will County, Region 7
  • Temporary Casino Hours: 24/7
  • Limited Capacity: 50%
  • Required PPE: All employees and guests must wear a mask.
  • Air Quality: Unknown
  • Hotel: Open with limited amenities.
  • Poker Room: Permanently closed.
  • Restaurants and Bars: Reserve Steakhouse, Cross Street Grill and Laurel Lounge are open. Beverage service on the casino floor is permitted, except at table games.
  • Protocols: Using Caesars‘ safety procedures, social distancing is required. Hand sanitizer stations are throughout the casino-resort. Employees have undergone proper COVID-19 training.

Is Hollywood Joliet open?

Yes, Hollywood Casino & Hotel Joliet is open and operating under Phase 4 mitigations.

  • Location: Joliet, Will County, Region 7
  • Temporary Casino Hours: 8 a.m.-4 a.m. daily
  • Limited Capacity: 50%
  • Required PPE: All employees and guests must wear a mask.
  • Air Quality: Unknown
  • Hotel: Open with limited amenities.
  • Sportsbook at Hollywood: Open
  • Restaurants and Bars: Take Two Deli, Final Cut Steakhouse, Epic Buffet and VIP Lounge will be opening soon. The 99 Hops House is available for to-go orders. There isn’t any bar service.
  • Protocols: In a statement from the general manager, signage on the floor encourages social distancing. Employees undergo daily health screenings. Sanitizer stations are throughout the facility.

Is Grand Victoria Casino open?

Yes, Grand Victoria Casino is open and operating under Phase 4 mitigations.

  • Location: Elgin, Kane County, Region 8
  • Temporary Casino Hours: 24/7
  • Limited Capacity: 50%
  • Required PPE: All employees and guests must wear a mask “that covers their nose and mouth.” Complimentary masks are available.
  • Air Quality: Unknown
  • William Hill Sportsbook: Open
  • Restaurants and Bars: Crave Deli, The Slice Pizzeria, Buckinghams Steakhouse are open. Indulge Show Kitchen Buffet is closed.
  • Poker Room: Temporarily closed.
    Protocols: The safety plan includes social distancing, hand sanitizer stations and frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces.

Is Hollywood Aurora open?

Yes, Hollywood Casino in Aurora is open and operating under Phase 4 mitigations.

  • Location: Aurora, Kane County, Region 8
  • Temporary Casino Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 a.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 8:30 a.m.-6:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays
  • Limited Capacity: 50%
  • Required PPE: All employees and guests must wear a mask.
  • Air Quality: Unknown
  • Hotel: Open with limited amenities.
  • Barstool Sportsbook: Open
  • Restaurants and Bars: Take Two Deli, Fairbanks Steakhouse are open for dine-in and carryout.
  • Poker Room: Temporarily closed.
  • Protocols: In a statement from the general manager, signage on the floor encourages social distancing. Employees undergo daily health screenings. Sanitizer stations are throughout the facility.

Is Rivers Casino open?

Yes, Rivers Casino is open and operating under Phase 4 mitigations.

  • Location: Des Plaines, Cook County, Region 10
  • Temporary Casino Hours: 8 a.m.-11 p.m. daily
  • Limited Capacity: 50%
  • Required PPE: All guests must wear face masks unless eating or drinking.
  • Air Quality: Rivers operates a state-of-the-art air filtration system. It is a nonsmoking facility.
  • BetRivers Sportsbook: Open
  • Restaurants and Bars: There isn’t any beverage service on the casino floor. Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House, The Marketplace, Flipt and Mian’s are available. Lotus and Coffee Spot are also open.
  • Protocols: Following the “Rivers Clean” initiative, the staff keeps high-touch areas sanitized. Social distancing is necessary. Valet service or scooter rentals aren’t available at this time.

 

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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for NCAA.com since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com and NBA.com. Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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