As of June 26th, Illinois has the fourth-most cases of Covid-19 in the country. It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to find that this state has been extremely hesitant to reopen venues that draw in large crowds. According to a new Illinois casino update from the state’s Gaming Board, however, gambling venues here will be able to reopen on July 1st.
It’s fantastic news for the casino companies here. Illinois has been working hard to expand its gambling regulations over the past couple of years. Today, we’re going to look at what state leaders currently have planned for this summer.
Let’s get into it!
Illinois’ Plans to Expand Casino Industry Come to a Halt
Over the past decade, a huge number of states have begun working to expand their current gambling industries. More state leaders seem to recognize the fact that casinos can bring in a huge amount of revenue from taxes. That is certainly the case in Illinois.
As many are aware, Illinois has been working hard to come up with new money-generating strategies. In June of 2019, lawmakers here approved a new Capital Plan that allows for several new casinos to open throughout the state. That includes one in Chicago.
It was great news for gambling fans here. Unfortunately, it’s been a difficult process trying to find a company willing to operate this Chicago casino. Much of that is due to the state’s high tax rate set on this venue.
State officials finally decided to lower this tax rate. Even after doing so, there aren’t many companies jumping at the opportunity to take control of the proposed Chicago casino. As the global pandemic began to spread around the world, the state’s casino plans came to a screeching halt.
Since March, all of the casinos currently operating here were forced to close down. The owners of these venues have been working to come up with reopening plans ever since. It now appears that officials are content with these plans.
Gaming Board Offers Exciting Illinois Casino Update
The past few months have been extremely difficult for the state of Illinois. Rates of Covid-19 have begun to drop here, yet many businesses remain closed down.
Many states around the country have slowly begun to reopen their gaming venues. That includes Nevada, which is slowly bringing Las Vegas back to life. Up until recently, no one really knew when Illinois would decide to revitalize its gaming industry.
We now have an answer. This week, members of the state Gaming Board offered an exciting new Illinois casino update. Casinos and video gaming operators can officially begin operating again at limited capacity on July 1st.
The regulations being set in place here are very similar to the ones seen in other states. That includes strict social distancing measures, stringent hand sanitization, and casinos must operate at no more than 50% capacity. If infection rates continue to drop in this state, some of these restrictions may gradually be lifted.
It comes at an important time for casino companies around the country. Many have lost an incredible amount of revenue over the past three months. Some may even be on the brink of collapse.
As infections begin to rise in certain states, it seems likely that we’ll begin to see casinos close down once again.
More Casinos Are Likely to Shut Down Soon
The land-based casino industry has been hit incredibly hard due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. For months, all brick-and-mortar gambling venues in the state were shut down. Certain states have begun to reopen these properties over the past few weeks.
In some parts of the country, it appears this may have been done a little soon. Arizona, for example, immediately saw its infection rates surge after lifting restrictions. As a result, the state ordered three major casinos here to shut down once again.
Florida has just shattered its own infection record. Over the past 24 hours, more than 9,000 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded here. Most predict that state leaders will call for all casinos to temporarily close.
Infection rates are slowly beginning to creep up in Nevada, as well. As a result, Governor Sisolak announced that wearing masks in public places, including casinos, is now required. Some worry this will damage the state’s already-hurting tourism industry.
The Illinois casino update is exciting for several reasons. Of course, state leaders may be forced to rethink this strategy if it’s proven that casinos contribute to a significant rise in new infections. Make sure to stay tuned for updates on the situation over the next few months.
Do you think it’s time for the casinos in Illinois to reopen? Will this happen on the proposed date of July 1st? Let us know in the comments section below.