Video Gambling Machines in Illinois Shut Down Due to Coronavirus

Video Gambling Machines in Illinois Shut Down Due to Coronavirus

Shortly after Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered bars and restaurants to close down for dine-in customers, the Illinois state authorities have also shut down video gambling machines.

When will the shutdown end?

The shutdown of the video gambling machine will continue all through this month. This move will completely shutter the gaming industry in the state since Illinois casinos have already been shut down owing to the coronavirus spread. A large number of slot machines already shut down because of the governor’s orders to shut down all restaurants and bars. Currently, only delivery and takeout orders are being entertained at these facilities.

Video Gambling Machines in Illinois Shut Down Due to Coronavirus

About 7,307 establishments across the state-run 35,483 video gaming machines. This includes VFW Halls as well as gas stations. The Gaming board also supported the decision and said,

“The public health of patrons, video gaming industry employees, Gaming Board staff, and all others is of paramount importance. The Board is continuously monitoring developments in connection with the COVID-19 public health crisis and will update licensees as warranted.”

The ban will be effective from 9 pm Monday and will be effective till March 30.

Video gaming terminals shut down for the first time

Ever since they were introduced in 2012, video gaming terminals in Illinois have never shut down. They are popular gaming options and became the top revenue generator for the state in 2017 as well, leaving the casinos behind. In 2019, gamblers lost $1.4 billion at casinos but $1.7 billion at video gaming machines.

The coronavirus outbreak has thwarted the expectations of the state’s gaming industry which was launched just a week ago. Moreover, several sporting events have also been postponed which will have an adverse impact on the state. Currently, horse racing is the only viable option where punters can bet via mobile or online. The downstate Collinsville Fairmount Park has closed its off-track betting parlors and is not allowing spectators. They will be broadcasting all the races so that bettors can wager online. On the other hand, the Hawthorne Race Course has suspended all races till the end of March.

Bettors can also play Illinois Lottery games. However, they have closed the Thompson Center which acts as a claims counter for all winnings over $600 till further notice. Other claim centers in Springfield, Des Plaines, Fairview Heights, and Rockford are open.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.