Illinois casinos and video gaming locations set to reopen July 1 - Chicago Tribune
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Illinois casinos and video gaming locations set to reopen July 1

This June 3, 2020, photo shows a worker at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. removing the chair from a slot machine, part of distancing measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Illinois casinos will be allowed to reopen July 1 under similar restrictions.
This June 3, 2020, photo shows a worker at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. removing the chair from a slot machine, part of distancing measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Illinois casinos will be allowed to reopen July 1 under similar restrictions. (Wayne Parry/AP)

Chicago-area gamblers will soon have some places to place their bets.

The Illinois Gaming Board announced Thursday casinos and video gaming operators across the state can reopen at 9 a.m. Wednesday, with capacity limits, social distancing and other required measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.

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Customers can expect some elbow room, face masks and the scent of sanitizers wafting through their favorite gambling establishments.

The gaming board developed a “gaming resumption process that protects the public health of patrons and employees, while restarting gaming activities in a meaningful way,” administrator Marcus Fruchter said in a news release.

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Casino and video gaming operations were suspended March 16 as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a statewide stay-at-ag8亚集团官方网站home order for everything but essential businesses. Illinois is set to enter Phase 4 of its reopening plan Friday, with museums, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses able to reopen their doors — with capacity limits.

Under the gaming board restrictions, Illinois casinos will be limited to 50% capacity, with six-foot social distancing required at all table games, slot machines, sportsbooks, restaurants and other common areas. Poker rooms, buffet services and valet parking will not be allowed to open.

Each of the state’s 10 casinos has provided a reopening plan to the gaming board.

Patrick Skarr, a spokesman for Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, said the state’s busiest gambling facility would reopen at noon Wednesday.

“Our guests can expect increased cleaning, social distancing and mask wearing by every team member and customer on the floor,” Skarr said Friday. “The safety and enjoyment of our customers and staff is our top priority.”

Penn National Gaming, which operates the Hollywood Casinos in Joliet and Aurora, is also planning to reopen both casinos at noon Wednesday.

“We have been working closely with the Illinois Gaming Board, state and local leaders, and public health officials to finalize comprehensive reopening protocols and new health and safety precautions,” Jeff Morris, a Penn National Gaming spokesman, said Friday.

Harrah’s Joliet will reopen at 9 a.m. Wednesday, with all employees and guests required to wear face coverings.

mobile sports betting in Illinois, launching its online sportsbook at BetRivers last week.

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