Although casinos have reopened in neighboring states, there's still no clear timeline for reopening the ones here in Illinois. And when they do, you'll notice the changes.

In Indiana, regulations have held casinos to 50% capacity, and staff are mandated to wear face-coverings (it's strongly recommended for patrons but not required). Hand sanitizers are everywhere. The AmeriStar Casino in East Chicago requires a temperature check to get a seat at a table.

In Wisconsin, the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino near Milwaukee is somewhat stricter in their approach since reopening. Gambling there is is limited to slot machines, with plexiglass panels installed as a barrier between bettors, and guests are required to reserve three-hour windows to use the machines.

Here in Illinois, where a decision on reopening is still to come, Illinois' ten casinos have had to submit their plans for protecting gamblers, outfitting employees with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and how they'll go about thoroughly and deeply cleaning their entire facilities.

But a few customary industry perks are off the board from the get-go, per the Gaming Board.

Those include buffets, table game tournaments, valet parking, poker rooms and any “promotions that require patrons to cluster and/or that cannot be conducted in compliance with current 6 foot social distancing requirements.”

Illinois’ guidelines mirror many of those set in Nevada, the international gambling capital that welcomed gamblers back at 12:01 a.m. June 4 after its own unprecedented coronavirus shutdown. Gaming interests are scrutinizing the Sin City reopening as a key barometer of how comfortable people in the coronavirus era will be about returning to an industry built on big crowds and high-touch surfaces.

Not being a gambler myself, I was surprised this morning when I googled "When do..." only to find the first offering was "...casinos open in Illinois."

Seems to be a pretty high level of interest.

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