Illinois Sees Additional Restrictions Amid The Surge of Coronavirus Cases

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Article by : Helen Aug 31, 2020

It seems that the situation with the increase in the number of cases of Covid-19 is still getting worse. As a result, some states are introducing new restrictions to provide additional safety for residents. The consequences of the limitation will primarily affect the business, including the casino market. Due to a spike in new cases, the Illinois Gaming Board has been forced to impose additional land-based casino restrictions.

According to official information from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the situation has deteriorated markedly in the Metro East region of the state. That is why the state authorities agreed on new restrictive measures to slow the further spread of disease. According to the ministry, the rate of new cases of Covid-19 in Metro East has exceeded 8%. These disappointing figures were recorded in the period from 14 to August 16. This is why the Illinois Department of Public Health will be forced to impose additional restrictive security measures.

Concerning the activities of land-based casinos, the new security directives require gambling establishments to operate exclusively from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. Such restrictions take effect from August 18 and will last until the situation improves. The restrictions will also apply to licensed gambling casinos, namely DraftKings at Casino Queen and Alton Argosy. The introduction of new restrictive measures also obliges gaming operators to ensure attendance of no more than 25% of the maximum allowed number of visitors.

The Gambling Authority has already rushed to warn all casino operators about possible disciplinary action in case of violation of the new requirements.

This applies not only to fines but also to license revocation if the violations repeat. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, such restrictions will continue until the general rate drops to a safe level of 6.5% or below. If the situation worsens and the figure exceeds the current 8%, then the restrictive measures may be further revised towards more stringent steps. Most likely, this concerns the possible closure of bars and catering establishments.

Previously, casinos in Illinois were forced to close their doors until July 1. The widespread deterioration of the situation in the United States of America made the state authorities immediately impose a ban on visiting gambling establishments starting in mid-March.

Currently, the activities of gambling casinos are limited. Therefore, many operators focus on online sports betting. It is noteworthy that the state authorities always keep their fingers on the pulse and instantly react to the situation. The state’s governor signed an additional ordinance that lowered the requirements for players wishing to register at online casinos. After the casinos reopened their doors last month, the governor has not renewed his ruling. Players will now have to register a personal account again to place sports bets.

Illinois became the 11th state to offer sports betting opportunities to local players. BetRivers was one of the first operators to provide horse racing betting. It was a huge success for local players as they now can place bets using their mobile phones.

The Illinois sports betting market has more than 12 million residents. According to local authorities, the possible tax deductions from sports betting could reach 73 million dollars. The total volume of the sports betting market is estimated at more than 480 million US dollars. According to the law, gaming operators are required to pay a 15% tax on gaming income. As a result, the state could see a dramatic increase in the number of gaming operators offering online or mobile betting.


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