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Illinois casino operations suspended for next two weeks

The Illinois Gaming Board has ordered the closure of all 10 casinos in the state for a two-week period, starting Monday, March 16.

The board made the announcement Friday night that the facilities must suspend gambling operations for the next 14 days, stating that “the public health of patrons, casino employees, IGB staff, and others is of paramount importance.”

The board said it will continue to monitor developments in the coronavirus pandemic and will update licensees and the public as often as possible.

Penn National Gaming, which operates the Argosy Casino in Alton, said it is ready to comply with the order.

“The health and well-being of our guests and team members will always be our paramount concern,” said Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National Gaming. “Since the coronavirus threat began there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any Penn National casino, and we have implemented stringent CDC-recommended protocols throughout our enterprise, including increased daily cleaning regimens at our facilities, maximizing air circulation, cancelling or postponing all concerts and live events, and we’re in the process of temporarily closing down buffets, among other initiatives.

“As for our 1,200 team members at Hollywood Casino Aurora, Hollywood Casino Joliet and Hollywood Casino Alton, who will be impacted by this temporary closure, we plan to continue to pay their full wages and benefits for the 14 day period. This is a challenging time for all of us, and we are very appreciative of the overwhelming support and understanding from our guests and team members. We look forward to reopening our doors just as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will be taking the opportunity to continue our deep cleaning efforts and preparing our casinos to welcome our loyal customers back,” .Snowden said.

PHOTO: Argosy Casino in Alton. File

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