- Recent casino closure updates in Colorado, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Mexico
Coronavirus has raged on in the states, causing many recent casino-related closures, even for those who were hopeful to open soon.
Although the recent election may have brought expanded gambling legislation to many states, those eager to hit the poker table in some states will have to wait.
Read on to discover recent closures, updates on when (and if) you can expect casino reopenings, and more.
Colorado just voted in favor of letting casinos raise per-hand betting limits, and now, table games have been shut down in order to comply with ‘Safer at Home’, Colorado’s three-tiered plan to restrict coronavirus spread.
The ‘Safer at Home’ initiative reduces the amount of people allowed in a space to 100, down from 500, and doesn’t allow table games to be played or alcohol served after 11pm.
Casinos in Gilpin County, Colorado have reopened since initially shutting down in March, and casinos in Cripple Creek, another gambling hub, have been closed since the onset of the pandemic and rising covid-19 cases. Luckily, Colorado legalized sports betting in May of this year, giving residents options beyond brick-and-mortar locations.
Meanwhile, casinos in Michigan, including those in tribal gambling hubs Central City and Black Hawk, will shut down for at least three weeks starting Wednesday, November 18 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The order is put in place by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and aims to prevent ‘indoor social gatherings’ which can contribute to the virus-spread. Although libraries, museums & restaurants can remain open, and sports teams can continue to play (provided they meet ‘extraordinary conditions’); theaters, night clubs and bowling alleys must close or remain closed.
After restrictions put in place by Governor Charlie Baker after a recent spike in coronavirus cases, as of November 6, Massachusetts casinos will close at 9:30PM. Many casinos in the area are used to operating 24/7.
The Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield casinos were all slated to reopen as part of the state’s Phase 3 reopening plan, but now, will also remain closed after a recent surge in covid-19 cases.
Although a measure was approved to reopen sports betting in New Mexico & Arizona in November, Jonathon Nez, Tribal President still has to decide on legislation. Some locations, like Route 66 Casino, are closing because of rising cases among employees. Other casinos, like the Santa Ana Pueblo, opened briefly in July, and are now closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Many New Mexico racinos are requesting in-state regulated gambling, and would allow the state’s racetracks to have an unlimited number of video slot machines, table games and on-site betting parlors.
In more optimistic news, as of October 28, Illinois is in ‘Phase 4’ of their ‘Restore Illinois’ plan, which outlines guidelines for businesses and activities like meetings & events, indoor & outdoor recreation and indoor dining to resume – luckily for Illinois residents, this includes casino reopening.
While casinos are open, they must close by 11PM. The amount of people allowed in the casino is also limited, and must be kept to 25% of room capacity, so gathering size limits will vary.
Per CDC guidelines, virtual or online gaming formats have the lowest risk gambling activities to prevent the spread of Covid-19.