After being temporarily shut down on March 16 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the ten riverboat casinos in the American state of Illinois have now reportedly been issued with a set of official re-opening guidelines.
According to a Tuesday report from the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, the guidance from the Illinois Gaming Board is devoid of a firm re-opening timetable but does mandate that casinos hoping to revive operations must be able to provide their employees with free protective apparatus and daily health screenings.
The newspaper reported that Illinois casinos are to also be required to submit a thorough plan before being allowed to re-open and commit to a regime that will see all of their equipment including cards, chips, dice and roulette wheels regularly disinfected.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that other aspects of the guidance from the Illinois Gaming Board encompass an outright ban on valet parking, buffets, table game tournaments and poker rooms alongside ‘promotions that require patrons to cluster and/or that cannot be conducted in compliance with current six-foot social distancing requirements’. The directives will moreover purportedly require re-opening venues to post signs reminding punters about social distancing protocols and ‘proper hand washing.’
The newspaper reported that re-opening Illinois casinos are to furthermore have their hotel capacities capped at 50% and be obliged to make employees and guests wear ‘some type of face covering’. This former stipulation from the Illinois Gaming Board mirrors a condition for the 13 gambling-friendly venues in the neighboring state of Indiana, which are to be permitted to revive operations from Monday, and may be changed ‘depending on public health conditions at any time.’
Regarding just when the Midwestern state’s casinos may be given the green light to re-open and Marcus Fruchter from the Illinois Gaming Board reportedly used an official communication to declare that such a move is to ‘be based upon public health guidance and metrics’ in keeping with Governor Jay Robert Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan.