The gaming industry in Ohio prepares to reopen on June 19. All casinos and racinos are allowed to restart operation following an announcement by Governor Mike DeWine.
Casino Industry in Ohio Allowed to Restart from June 19
Good news for Ohio’s casino industry. As per this Friday’s announcement by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, casinos and racinos in the state can resume operations on June 19. Both casinos and racinos in the state were closed down in mid-March. The closure was introduced in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
Now, nearly three months later, the state’s operators can finally restart operations. The Buckeye’s racinos offer only slots machines while in casinos, players can choose from table games and slot machines. The state racinos are regulated by Ohio Lottery Commission. The regulator has announced that all seven racinos are planning to return to business as of June 19. This however is not the case with the four state casinos. It is yet to be confirmed if the four properties can reopen on June 19 or they will remain closed for a little longer while preparing their venues.
Horse racing in the Buckeye State was already reinstated last month, but without audience, after previously being shut down in March. However, punters had the ability to bet both by simulcasting and online. And while horse racing was restarted, Ohio’s four prime casinos and seven racinos remained closed since mid-March. Numbers show that the industry in the state had pretty good results prior to the closure. Despite the good start, three months of suspended operations led to losses of some $400 million in revenue. Looking at the results until the end of May, the revenue plummeted to $410.8 million from $810 million in revenue for the same period last year.
Post COVID-19 Gaming Operations in Ohio
Ohio’s casinos and racinos will look a different that before. Similar to all gaming facilities around the globe, post-COVID-19 rules and restrictions will be applied. Commenting on the subject, JACK Entertainment chief operating officer, Chad Barnhill said: “new practices in compliance with public health orders and recommendations as well as additional safety protocols determined essential by our company.“
Ohio’s casinos and racinos will open under strict health and safety protocols. Those protocols were already prepared by the Ohio Casino Control and Lottery Commission collaborating with state and health officials. For starters, distance of six feet will be introduced for all casino and racino employees.
This is a must unless a plexiglass or another form of separation is in place. Employees will also have to wear masks or face shields. Punters will also be encouraged to wear face masks. Information signs will be installed on each casino and racino entrance. Visitors will be informed that with entering they confirm that they are not infected with COVID-19, they have not been in contact with infected people nor had COVID-19 symptoms for the last two weeks. In addition to those measures, social distancing will be introduced by reducing gaming table seats as well as turning off of some slot machines.
So far, in the United States 25 states have restarted their gaming industries. Earlier this week, Las Vegas casinos restarted operations and initiated their marketing campaigns. More states are also planning to resume operations in the upcoming weeks. Every casino that already resumed operations will be working under enhanced cleaning protocols and social distancing. The reopening of casinos in the US will undoubtedly help the country’s economy with fresh taxes funds entering each state’s budget.