Maryland And Illinois Reopen Casinos This Week

Two more states are reopening casinos this week as the American gaming market slowly moves back to pre-COVID-19 numbers.

Prince George’s County in Maryland entered phase two of its reopening plan, which allowed MGM National Harbor to open its doors for the first time since mid-March. With the opening of MGM’s Maryland property, all six casinos are now open for business.

Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flintstone was the first Maryland casino to reopen on June 19. Hollywood Casino Perryville opened that same day and Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Ocean Downs Casino and Live! Casino & Hotel announced openings 10 days later. With MGM’s announcement, all six Maryland casinos are open for business.

Like other markets around the country, Maryland casinos will be operating at reduced capacity to improve social distancing and other guidelines that will further a safe gaming environment.

Illinois is following suit later this week, with the Illinois Gaming Board announcing that the state’s 10 casinos will open at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Gamblers in Illinois have been able to travel to neighboring states to gamble while Illinois kept its casinos closed. Iowa, Illinois and Indiana all closed its gambling markets March 16 in response to the outbreak of coronavirus, but Iowa reopened June 1, while Indiana reopened June 15.

Illinois will mimic the same safety measures in place in Indiana, which includes mandatory face mask usage, social distancing requirements, enhanced sanitation techniques and operating at a limited capacity, according to a Northwest Times report.

According to the American Gaming Association, there are currently 794 casinos open for business and 195 with its doors still closed. That takes into account Maryland’s openings, but when Illinois reopens Wednesday morning, there will be more than 800 properties open for business.

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