Illinois closes casinos in new effort to contain virus spread

By Ucatchers

Casinos and other gambling facilities in Illinois will be among the indoor entertainment venues due to close starting Friday, November 20, under a series of new orders and restrictions announced by Governor JB Pritzker on Tuesday.

New restrictions are being imposed as the state struggles to combat the aggressive increase in new Covid-19 cases.

This is the second time ten Illinois casinos and other gambling establishments were ordered closed to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. Governor Pritzker ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses in March when the dangerous virus first appeared. The state’s casinos were allowed to resume operations in early July at 50% capacity.

It will be seen when the facilities will be allowed to resume operations this time. Under new orders from Governor Pritzker, video game terminals in restaurants and elsewhere are also required to close as of Friday.

Indoor dining and bar service are already banned in Illinois, even in state casinos. According to the new orders, hotels will have to close their spaces for events and meetings and limit room occupancy to registered guests. Their gyms will be required to operate by reservations only and at 25% capacity or otherwise closed.

Extended remote betting registration

Before announcing the new measures and restrictions aimed at aborting the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Pritzker last week once again extended the executive order which authorizes the remote registration of sports betting accounts.

Under Illinois sports betting law, customers must complete a registration process in person at physical betting establishments to be able to bet remotely at the desk or via their smartphones.

Governor Pritzker issued an executive order in June temporarily removing that requirement as casinos across the state were still closed. The governor has extended the order several times since then. It was extended one more time last week and will remain valid for at least another month.

Sports betting in Illinois got off to a shaky start. The first retail sports bookmakers in the state opened their doors in early March, but they operated for only a week before non-essential businesses were ordered to close. Governor Pritzker’s June order allowed local licensed operators to finally go live with mobile betting.

The reopening of physical gambling establishments further helped the state’s nascent sports betting industry gain traction.

According to the latest issue released by the Illinois Gaming Board, the state’s digital and retail sportsbooks received more than $ 285 million bets in September. Illinois gamblers can bet on sporting events at seven casinos across the state, a racetrack, and various betting apps. Most of the bets, around 92%, were made via mobile devices.

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