s of July 1, the Illinois Gaming Board’s suspension of casinos and video gaming operations has been lifted. The measure, which affected statewide casino and video gaming operations, was implemented on March 16, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
With two major casinos in the city, Joliet’s revenue losses from those casinos being forced to close will potentially result in huge revenue losses that the city has yet to fully tally.
In 2019, casino revenues from mid-March through June totaled $4.7 million and video gaming revenues totaled $314,509. Based on those numbers, the potential revenue loss for the city in 2020 could amount to more than $5 million.
That’s not to mention the total revenue losses experienced by the casinos, the Times Weekly reports.
Guided by public health metrics and safety considerations, and in close consultation with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Governor’s Office, the Gaming Board issued Resumption Protocols to guide casino and terminal operators in their resumption planning, officials said. The Resumption Protocols were released on June 9 and are available on the Gaming Board’s website.
Each casino and terminal operator has now provided to the Gaming Board a Pandemic Resumption Plan that guides their operations as of July 1.
“The Gaming Board worked with the Governor’s Office, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to develop a gaming resumption process that protects the public health of patrons and employees, while restarting gaming activities in a meaningful way,” said Gaming Board Administrator Marcus Fruchter.
"We are very excited to reopen Hollywood Casino Joliet… While the amenities our customers have come to know and love will be somewhat limited, for the time being, the ability to safely welcome back our team members and guests remain our top priority," said Hollywood Casino Joliet in a statement released on the casino’s website. "With this in mind, we have been working closely with the Illinois Gaming Board, state and local leaders, and public health officials to finalize comprehensive reopening protocols and new health and safety precautions."
Returning team members, Lydia Garvey, vice president, and general manager of Hollywood Casino Joliet added, were trained on these procedures and guests will see reminder signage about them throughout the property. These new protocols include, but are not limited to, the following:
HEALTH & SAFETY:
"We are grateful for the overwhelming support, patience, and understanding from our customers through these unprecedented times, and can’t wait to welcome them back on Wednesday," Garvey said.