Posted on: June 11, 2020, 08:45h.
Last updated on: June 11, 2020, 10:51h.
Indiana casinos are getting ready to reopen for the first time in three months.
Earlier this week, the Indiana Gaming Commission formally announced state-licensed casinos would be able to open their doors as early as 6 a.m. on Monday. When the patrons start streaming in, it will end a 91-day closure the state ordered because of the COVID-19 crisis.
All of the state’s 10 casinos and two racinos have either told Casino.org or announced publicly they plan to reopen Monday. Most casino operators have already reopened properties elsewhere in the US.
We are encouraged by early guest volumes at our newly reopened properties across the country and are optimistic we will see similar results as we return to business at Blue Chip (and) Belterra Resort,” said Keith Smith, president and CEO of Boyd Gaming, in a press release.
Stage Four of Indiana’s COVID-19 reopening plan was set to start on Sunday. However, on Wednesday, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the stage would start a couple days early because of the state’s success in containing the virus. Despite the head start, the reopening date for casinos did not budge.
Four Winds Casino in South Bend, the state’s only tribal casino, also confirmed earlier this week it plans to open on Monday.
Masks Required for Table Game Play
Indiana’s reopening guidelines can be found here.
Among the services that will not be immediately available at casinos when they reopen are valet service, buffets, and floor beverage service. Poker tables, including pai gow, will also not be offered during the first reopening phase.
Capacity will be limited to no more than 50 percent, although some casinos may be more restricted than that depending on their ability to adhere to social distancing requirements.
Masks will only be required for guests playing table games, and tables will have reduced seating. Patrons playing slots or other electronic games are encouraged to wear masks.
The IGC also recommends that casinos limit smoking to a designated area.
All employees and guests will have to submit to a health screening, which includes a non-evasive temperature scan, before they can enter the casino. Anyone registering a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit cannot enter.
Indiana Sports Betting Bouncing Back
Indiana has lost out on millions of dollars in tax revenue as a result of the three-month shutdown. However, thanks to the casinos with mobile sports betting applications, a scant amount of tax dollars have trickled in for the past three months.
The IGC released its May financials on Wednesday, which showed that the state’s seven licensed applications generated $37.3 million in wagers for the month. That’s a nearly 42 percent increase from April’s handle, but a fraction of the $187.2 million wagered in February, the last full month of sports betting in the country before COVID-19 canceled nearly all major sporting events and leagues.
The sportsbooks reported adjusted gross revenues of $3.2 million, which gave the state slightly more than $300,000 in tax revenue for the month.
As has been the case since they launched, DraftKings ($20.1 million handle) and FanDuel ($12.3 million) dominate the market. BetRivers.com ($2.4 million) and BetMGM ($1.5 million) were the only other apps with seven-figure handles, although PointsBet ($986,258) barely missed that mark. BetAmerica, which is still working on an app for Indiana, and CaesarsOnline, which came online in mid-May, accounted for the remainder.