After being closed for more than three months, casinos in the state of Indiana are set to reopen on Monday. The Indiana Gaming Commission officially gave approval this week, and casinos can start welcoming guests at 6 am.
The reopening of the casinos on Monday will mark the end of a 91-day closure that has cost the state millions of dollars. There are 10 casinos and two racinos in the state of Indiana, and all of them have announced that they will open back up on Monday.
Other states have seen the reopening of casinos happen slowly, but that won’t be the case in Indiana. Other states have been much quicker to allow casinos to reopen their doors, but Indiana should be able to make up for lost ground in a hurry.
The only tribal casino in the state, Four Wind Casino in South Bend, will also open its doors to customers on Monday. Most tribal casinos throughout the country reopened well before commercial casinos were allowed to reopen.
Indiana’s COVID-19 plan was set to move into phase four on Sunday, but Governor Eric Holcomb moved that date up a few days. Despite the state already entering phase four, the Indiana Gaming Commission did not allow the casinos to open any earlier than the previously announced date.
The Indiana Gaming Commission has produced some guidelines that all casinos must follow if they plan to open their doors. The biggest rule is that masks must be worn by all players that sit down at the table games.
There are several services that will not be offered during the initial reopening phase, and that includes poker. Valet service, buffets, and beverage service on the casino floor will also not be offered initially.
Casinos will be allowed to have up to 50 percent of their normal capacity at the venue unless the casinos cannot adhere to social distancing guidelines. Casinos will also be forced to limit smoking to a designated area, as smoking is known to cause the coronavirus.
A health screening will be required for all guests and employees before they are allowed to enter the casino. Anyone that registers a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed in the venue.
Sportsbooks Helped State Through Pandemic
Even though the casinos lost out on a ton of money throughout the closure, some locations were able to do better than others. The state was also still able to bring in some tax revenue through mobile sportsbook operators that continued to stay open.
Indiana was one of the fastest-growing sports betting markets in the US before the shutdown, and they are expected to bounce back in a big way. Many big-name operators run sportsbooks in the state, and they will help the industry recover.
DraftKings and FanDuel are the two biggest names in the Indiana sports betting scene, and they continue to bring in the most revenue. DraftKings saw a $20.1 million handle during May, and FanDuel brought in $12.3 million.
BetRivers and BetMGM also saw a betting handle in the seven figures, while PointsBet just missed that mark. The seven sportsbooks brought in a total of $37.3 million during May, which was a 42 percent increase from the numbers in April.
Indiana saw a sports betting handle of more than $187 million in February, which was the last full month before sports started to shut down. The state is expected to go over $200 million in betting handle when everything gets up and running.