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IL brings in new casino restrictions as Covid-19 cases rise


The Illinois Gaming Board has confirmed that restrictions will be introduced in a number of regions across the state amid rising novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases.

Figures released by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) show that both Metro East and Northeastern Illinois have exceeded its criteria that trigger additional measures to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Restrictions can be put in place if a region’s positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8% for three consecutive days.

Metro East, which already faced stricter measures after the IDPH noted a rise in cases earlier this month, includes the Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington Counties. Northeastern Illinois comprises the Kankakee and Will Counties.

In terms of specific restrictions, both the Hollywood Casino and Harrah’s Casino in Joilet in Will County will only be permitted to open from 8am to 11pm, at a maximum 25% capacity. Measures, effective from 5pm today (August 26), also include the suspension of food and beverage service, and the compulsory wearing of masks.

Also effective from today, all video gaming operations at licensed video gaming locations in Northeastern Illinois will be limited to opening between 8am and 11pm. Food and beverage service in gaming areas will be suspended, masks must be worn at all times inside the video gaming area, while only one person will be permitted per machine.

From 5pm on September 1, food and beverage services will be suspended at the DraftKings at Casino Queen and Argosy Casino Alton in Madison County. Other measures introduced earlier this month, including a 25% capacity and limited opening hours between 8am and 11pm, will also remain in place.

Video gaming locations in the Metro East region will also keep in place existing restrictions, including 8am to 11pm opening hours. However, from September 1, food and beverage services will also be suspended until further notice.

The will continue to monitor the infection rate in Metro East and Northeastern Illinois over a 14-day period and, if the rate were to fall to 6.5% or less, some or all of these restrictions could be relaxed.

However, if the positivity rate averages between 6.5% and 8%, the mitigations will remain in place, and if the rate exceeds 8%, more stringent measures could be introduced.

The announcement comes after Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker this week reinstated an executive order suspending in-person registration, until September 19 at the earliest.

This means bettors in the state can again sign up for an online sports betting account without having to travel to a physical location.