Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

Video Gaming May Return as Early as June 26

The Illinois Gaming Board has issued protocols for the return of video gaming terminals. The protocols, issued June 9, 2020, indicate that the earliest video gaming operations may return is during Phase 4-Revitalization of the Restore Illinois Plan, which could be as early as June 26, 2020 (so long as a given EMS Region meets all the requirements to move to the next phase).

As with the reopening of many businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic, video gaming will operate a little differently. First, all gaming areas and video gaming terminals will have to be deep cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected prior to reopening and ongoing cleaning protocols must be implemented. Terminals will now be separated by transparent partitions such as plexiglass or safety glass, or terminals will need to be placed 6 feet apart, to allow for social distancing. In addition, face masks must be worn at all times while using video gaming terminals and inside the gaming area.

Prior to reopening, video gaming terminal operators must submit a Pandemic Resumption Plan via email to the Illinois Gaming Board. Each plan must cover 9 areas: 1) Reopening Procedures and Waiver Requests, 2) Social Distancing Requirements, 3) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), 4) Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing, 5) Signage, 6) Capacity and Occupancy, 7) Daily Health Screening, 8) Training, and 9) Monitoring and Reporting. The Pandemic Resumption Plan must be consistent with and video gaming operators will be required to comply with the Illinois Department of Public Health and Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity guidance as well as the Center for Disease Control requirements relating to COVID-19.

Municipalities with video gaming terminals are encouraged to get the word out to local businesses regarding the requirements that must be met prior to reopening. Local businesses can prepare for reopening video gaming terminals in Phase 4, but the Illinois Gaming Board will announce the official date at a later time.

Click here for the Illinois Video Gaming Resumption Protocols (2020.06.09).