Illinois announces new casino restrictions as coronavirus cases rise

The Illinois Gaming Board has outlined a new set of restrictions across several regions in the state as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) has announced that a new set of restrictions will be introduced across several regions in the state as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

According to figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), both Metro East and Northeastern Illinois have exceeded the criteria that triggers additional measures to help slow the spread of the virus.

In Illinois, restrictions can be imposed if a region’s positivity rate for the virus averages, or is greater than, 8% for three consecutive days.

Last week, the IDPH noted an increase in virus cases in the Metro East region which prompted the introduction of several restrictions. As a result of this, restrictions were implemented in the region which includes the Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties.

More restrictions in Illinois

The latest announcement will introduce new restrictions on the Northeastern region, which is made up of the Kankakee and Will Counties.

With the new restrictions in place, both the Hollywood Casino and Harrah’s Casino in Joliet in Will County will only be permitted to open between 8am and 11pm. In addition to the revised operating hours, gambling facilities are limited to 25% of fire code capacity.

These measures, which are effective as of today, will include the suspension of food and beverage services and the mandatory wearing of face masks.

On top of this, all video gaming operations at licensed video gaming venues in Northeastern Illinois will be limited to operating between 8am and 11pm. Food and beverage services will also be suspended and masks must be worn at all times while inside the video gaming area. The restrictions will also set a limit of one player per machine.

The existing restrictions introduced last week in the Metro East region, which restricted gambling venues to opening times of 8am to 11pm and a limited capacity will remain in place. In addition to this, from 5pm on 1 September, food and beverage service will be suspended at DraftKings at Casino Queen and Argosy Casino Alton in Madison County.

Video gaming venues in the Metro East region will keep the existing restrictions in place but from 1 September, these venues will also be forced to suspend food and beverage services.

On its site, the IGB said: “Failure to comply with these mitigation efforts could subject licensees to discipline, up to and including license revocation.”

The IDPH will continue to monitor the infection rate in the regions over a 14-day period and if the rate falls to 6.5% or less, some restrictions may be eased. However, if the positivity rate grows beyond 6.5% or 8%, the restrictions will remain in place. If the rate surpasses 8% the IDPH may implement stricter measures to slow the spread of the virus.

Remote registration returns

This comes after Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker reinstated an executive order suspending the in-person registration requirement for online sports betting accounts in the state of Illinois, last week.

This means that bettors in the state will be able to create online sports betting accounts remotely from anywhere within the state without having to visit one of the state’s land-based casino sportsbooks. This is a massive benefit to Illinois residents as it eliminates the needless health risks that come with travelling to one of the state’s casinos.

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