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Illinois casinos to reopen from July 1


The Illinois Gaming Board has announced that casinos in the state will be able to reopen from July 1, in line with new novel coronavirus (Covid-19) measures set out by Governor J. B. Pritzker.

Pritzker yesterday (June 24) said that each region of the state had met the health benchmarks to move forward into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, whereby more facilities will be permitted to reopen.

Casinos are among the venues that will be able to recommence operations from July 1, while video gaming terminals will also return from the same date, after both being suspended since March 16.

Earlier this month, the Illinois Gaming Board set out guidelines for reopening, including that casinos operating at 50% capacity and poker rooms staying closed.

In line with this, each casino and terminal operator had to provide the Gaming Board with a Pandemic Resumption Plan to guide their operations when gaming resumes.

“The Gaming Board worked with the Governor’s Office, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to develop a gaming resumption process that protects the public health of patrons and employees, while restarting gaming activities in meaningful way,” Gaming Board administrator Marcus Fruchter said.

“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 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.”

Confirmation of the reopening comes after Pritzker earlier this month also signed an executive order to temporarily relax rules that require consumers in the state to register in-person in order to access online sports betting services.

Players can register online or via an operator’s mobile application, with this set to remain in place for as long as the state’s Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamations remain in effect, the order said.

Boyd Gaming was one of the first operators to confirm it will recommence casino operations in Illinois, with its Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino to reopen on July 1, in line with the new measures.

Safety protocols at the facility will include mandatory face coverings for all team members and customers, social distancing and capacity restrictions, enhanced cleaning and sanitation, and additional training for staff.

Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino vice president and general manager, Cori Rutherford, said: “We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our guests and team members with ‘Boyd Clean,’ our health and safety initiative that fully meets the highest standards set forth by local, state and federal health officials.”

Over in Nevada, meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment Corporation has announced it will reopen its Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 2. This will follow the resumption of services at its Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah’s, and Paris Las Vegas properties in the city.