CHICAGO (WMBD) — The Illinois Gaming Board met Thursday morning for the first time since Jan. 31, speaking on licensing renewals, safety guidelines, and possible reopenings.
During the meeting, the board approved numerous resolutions including four-year master sports betting licenses to seven Illinois casinos including Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino, Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Argosy in Alton, Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin and Hollywood Casinos in Aurora and Joliet.
However, when it comes to casinos opening their doors again, that date is still yet to be determined. Marcus Fruchter, board administrator, said they’re following public health guidelines in addition to the governor’s orders.
“The timing and conditions for resumptions of gaming are unknown at this time and will be based on public health guidance and metrics and will proceed within the framework of Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan,” Fruchter said.
The board issued a set of protocols Tuesday for casinos to follow when they reopen. The guidelines include social distancing, thorough sanitation and cleaning measures, the usage of masks and personal protective equipment, and daily health screenings. The board is also prohibiting buffets, poker tables, and table game tournaments until further notice.
Fruchter said these measures are to ensure the safety of both casinos’ staff members and guests.
“IGB staff will continue to work with our licencees to answer questions, resolve problems and address concerns,” Fruchter said. “We all share the same goal to resume operations as safety and expeditiously as possible without sacrificing either public health or the integrity of Illinois gaming.”
Gambling operations have been suspended in Illinois since March 16. The earliest the state is expected to enter stage four of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan is June 26.