The Illinois Gaming Board has announced that a temporary suspension on brick-and-mortar gambling in the state due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis will be extended to April 30.
The initial period of closure for casinos and video gaming locations had been due to run to the end of March. However, such facilities will not be permitted to open again until the end of April at the earliest.
The Gaming Board said that it would continue to monitor the situation and issue further updates to licensees and stakeholders when new information becomes available.
“The health and safety of patrons, gaming industry employees, Gaming Board staff, and all others in Illinois is the Gaming Board’s top priority,” the Gaming Board said.
“The Gaming Board is monitoring developments regarding Covid-19 and will continue to make decisions based on science, public health guidance, and applicable law and rules.”
The global outbreak of coronavirus has caused all commercial casinos across the US to temporarily close, while the majority of tribal casinos have also shut for the foreseeable future.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) had called for support from the federal government after estimating that the closure of casinos could cost the country’s economy as much as $43.5bn over the next two months.
However, the AGA also praised the recent passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act through the US Senate, saying it would help prop up the gaming industry during the pandemic.
The bill, introduced by Kentucky Senator and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, comprises a $2.00tn stimulus package for people, states and businesses affected by the pandemic.