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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Is Video Gaming Permitted During COVID-19 Mitigation Measures?

As you know, the Governor has recently imposed further mitigation measures throughout the State of Illinois regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Some regions are currently in Tier 1, which bans indoor dining and indoor bar service and restricts gatherings to 25 people, among other restrictions. Other regions are currently, or will be shortly, in Tier 2, which also bans indoor dining and indoor bar service and restricts gatherings to 10 people, among other restrictions. 

One question that has been raised is whether a restaurant or bar that offers video gaming must also cease all gaming activities while the region is subject to these mitigation measures that ban indoor dining and indoor bar service. The DCEO posted a FAQ on this very issue on November 9, 2020. In short, video gaming activities can continue, subject to certain conditions. The FAQ is reprinted below:

Is video gaming permitted at bars, restaurants and other licensed video gaming locations in areas under mitigation? 

Yes, but only under the following conditions: 

  • Gaming is limited to within the hours of 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily, with no exceptions
  • Food and beverage service in the gaming area is suspended (curbside and carry out is permitted if otherwise authorized) 
  • Masks must be worn at all times in the gaming area 
  • Congregating around video gaming terminals is prohibited and there is a one person per video gaming terminal limitation 
  • Existing social distancing, sanitizing and other mitigation protocols and measures in approved Terminal Operator Pandemic Resumption Plans remain in effect along with other applicable protocols and directives from the Illinois Gaming Board 
  • Failure to comply with mitigation efforts and restrictions could subject licensees to discipline from the Illinois Gaming Board, up to an including license revocation


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