Owners of Poker Machine Venues Disappointed with Illinois Gaming Board’s Decision to Put Off Casino Reopening to July 1st

As of June 26th, restaurants and bars across Illinois will be able to welcome customers inside their premises, with both owners and staff of these venues having been preparing for Phase 4 of the measures taken by the authorities to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus infection.

The state, however, announced a decision to change the plan at the last minute and keep gambling machines inoperable for a few days more. This has left owners of electronic gaming machines wondering why plans were changed so quickly.

As revealed by Illinois authorities, so-called poker and slot machines must be placed six feet apart, and plastic barriers must stand between games to ensure social distancing. Now, under the latest changes, those games would not be allowed to start operation until July 1st under the latest decision of the Illinois Gaming Board.

The decision disappointed the owners of pubs and clubs offering electronic gaming machines. They shared it was not fair for the gambling regulatory body to announce such a decision less than 24 hours from the initially-revealed date from which they were going to turn on the machines. Some owners of businesses offering poker and slot machines said they were frustrated by the decision, especially considering the fact that their customers have also been confused by the changes made by the Illinois Gaming Board.

Casinos and Electronic Gaming Machines Should Have Opened on June 26th

Although five more days for the machines to be offline might not seem like a long period for both businesses and customers to wait, pub and club owners who also provide their clients with access to electronic gaming terminals have explained there is a big difference between a June 26th opening and a July 1st opening.

They have explained that it is the weekend that can really make the difference, as bars and clubs are making the most of their existence during the weekend.

As mentioned above, the Illinois Gaming Board yesterday announced that casinos and video games operations would be given the right to resume operations on July 1st, despite a previous announcement that such businesses would be able to reopen on June 26th when Phase 4 of the relaxation of the lockdown measures is officially given a start. The gambling regulatory body said that each casino and electronic gaming machine operator has provided a Pandemic Resumption Plan under which it is expected to run its services when it is allowed to reopen at 9:00 AM on July 1st.

The resumption of the gaming and gambling operations across the state is a process that is aimed at getting things back to normal by protecting the public health of both gambling venue patrons and employees. Illinois Gaming Board has been working not only with the Governor’s Office but also with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to make it possible for the industry to restart its operations.

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