Illinois gambling venues have seen their revenue dry up since the governor closed indoor service statewide in November in a bid to curb the increase of Covid-19 cases.
Illinois Are a Step Closer to Tier 1, Which Allows In-Door Dining
Three Illinois regions have started returning to Tier 2 mitigations after a two-month pause due to the complicated epidemic situation. As per the latest order of Governor J.B. Pritzker, some businesses like gyms, casinos, and museums received green light to resume operations starting from Saturday, January 16.
The regions include Region 1(Northern Illinois), Region 2 (North-Central Illinois) and Region 5 (Southern Illinois). In a press briefing on Friday, Gov. Pritzker said that the remaining regions are also close to lifting Tier 3 requirements in the upcoming days.
Tier 2 restrictions include no indoor services for bars and restaurants, limited opening hours (closing at 11 pm and reopening no earlier than 6 am the following day), and tables with no more than six people. Gaming and casinos must close at 11 pm, are limited to 25% capacity, and follow mitigations applicable to bars and restaurants.
In the press briefing, Gov. Pritzker added:
“We must remain vigilant if we are to maintain our progress. Honestly, that’s going to be up to each and every one of us to keep our schools open and see an economic recovery that restores jobs and businesses. We’ve got to wear a mask limiting interactions with people outside our households and get vaccinated when it’s our turn.”
Lifting Tier 3 restrictions also means the return of group fitness classes and the reopening of cultural institutions like museums, with a 25% capacity limit, among other things. In order to rank for Tier 1 mitigations, which includes indoor dining, regions should report a positivity rate below 8% for three consecutive days, 20% or more ICU bed availability, and no increase in the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations for a 7-day average.
Illinois Prepares Sports Betting Bill
Illinois State Representative Mike Zalewski filed a legislation on January 9 to legalize sports betting on state collegiate events. The bill would amend the Sports Wagering Act to allow legal sports betting on events including the state’s colleges and universities.
However, the state legislature did not make it out of the Rules Committee prior to the close of business for the 101st General Assembly. Zalewski has yet to re-file the bill, but it would be a tight timeline to have it take effect prior to March Madness or the NCAA’s bowl season.