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More States Shutting Down Casino Industry In Response To COVID-19 Surge

Casinos In Illinois, New Mexico and One In Pennsylvania Are Being Forced To Shut Its Doors


Shortly after Michigan announced it would begin to shutter its brick-and-mortar casinos for a second time as a part of another round of COVID-19 restrictions, other states have begun to follow suit.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that it will shut down the state’s gaming market starting at 11:01 p.m. Thursday night. He did not announce how long these closures will last, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

If any of the state’s 10 casinos refuse to close during the mandated shutdown, they could lose their gaming license, according to the Illinois Gaming Board’s website.

Along with Illinois, New Mexico casinos are also beginning to cease operations in response to a COVID-19 surge. Route 66 Casino Hotel closed in mid-October response and according to local media outlets, the government is urging the 23 other tribal casinos to follow suit.

Santa Ana Star Casino announced the closure last week and Sandia Casino never reopened since it shut its doors in March. Since the entire gaming industry in the state is run by tribes, the state government is unable to unilaterally shut down the entire market.

While Pennsylvania hasn’t announced a statewide mandate, one of its biggest cities is beginning to enact strict lockdown measures and one of the state’s biggest casinos is being forced to close again.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia, formerly SugarHouse Casino, is shutting down Friday and will not be allowed to reopen until January 2, 2021. South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbooks will be closed during that same timeframe.

Other states, like California and Ohio, are beginning to implement curfews on its citizens. While state officials haven’t announced anything specific to the gaming industry, it’s still unclear what effect curfews will have on the casino industry.

Before reopening in July, New Jersey was one of the strictest and most cautious states when it came to its casino industry. This time around, however, it appears that Garden State casinos will avoid another shutdown. According to a report from the Press of Atlantic City, Gov. Phil Murphy said that there is no evidence that his state’s casinos are linked to any outbreaks of COVID-19.

Colorado casinos were in jeopardy of being closed as new restrictions were imposed Monday, but Teller County officials said earlier this week that the casino industry would not be affected.