Casinos in Illinois hopeful of 15 January reopening

By Violeta Prockyte

The governor of Illinois has expressed optimism that the state might soon move out of Tier 3 lockdown, which means the casinos in the state are likely to be allowed to once again open their doors 

Governor J.B. Pritzker said Illinois’ 11 regions might begin easing restrictions on 15 January, as long as the metrics support it. The date is a tentative deadline for the incubation period for cases after the holidays starting 1 January.  

Pritzker said: “We are watching closely in this incubation period post-Christmas and New Year’s. I am cautiously optimistic as there are some early signs that some regions have made real progress.”  

The governor stated there was no sharp increase in cases after Thanksgiving and healthcare officials are monitoring the post-Christmas holiday period for any possible spikes. 

The state’s Tier 3 lockdown limits gatherings and bars and restaurants have limited operations (such as no indoor seating); even grocery stores can work at 50% capacity only. The casinos closed mid-November after an increase in COVID-19 cases.

It has affected all riverboat casinos as well as gaming terminals in various locations, and it’s the second time the casino industry suffered a shutdown due to pandemic, with previous closure lasting from 16 March to 30 June.  

Before the closure, based on the data from the Illinois gaming board, adjusted gross revenue for table games for October was $19.7m, with EGD gross revenue at $59.4m. Monthly casino report put total adjusted gross receipts at $79.1m.  

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