Indiana’s casinos finally know when they’ll be able to reopen.
It’s been nearly two months since COVID-19 forced casinos around the state to shut their doors.
That was because of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s original stay-at-home order. Ever since that first update, the order has been extended every two weeks or so.
The start of stage two is different from county to county, but it starts in Indianapolis on May 11. Some areas will start a bit earlier, but since Indianapolis is a hotspot for the outbreak, Marion County has to wait a few extra days.
Casinos are not allowed to reopen while stage two is ongoing. The same goes for stage three, so casinos and gamblers alike have a little bit longer to wait.
Indiana casinos will reopen during stage 4 in June
Casinos can reopen at 50% capacity starting on June 14. That date marks the start of stage four in Indiana.
During stage four, masks will become optional. Restaurants can open up to 75% capacity and state government buildings will reopen.
Caesars Entertainment has already announced that Horseshoe Hammond, the Hoosier State’s most popular retail casino, will be among the first to reopen in June. The company did not offer specifics about what measures would be in place. Other casinos around the state will likely be joining the party, although they haven’t made official statements about reopening yet.
Things will be back to normal in Indiana by July 4
Stage five is when Indiana will lift all restrictions on businesses. Fourth of July weekend will mark the start of the final stage of Holcomb’s plan.
Casinos will be able to open at full capacity during stage five. No restrictions or masks needed.
Remote work will become optional for businesses throughout the state. Conventions and sporting events will have the green light to get started again.
However, there’s no way to know for sure how long COVID-19 will be hanging around for. Since it may still be a concern, social distancing is encouraged during stage five and beyond.
The reopening plan is subject to change
Indiana’s reopening schedule could still be thrown for a loop.
Holcomb announced the schedule since the state has been trending in the right direction.
There was a set of criteria to meet before things were put into motion. Holcomb wasn’t comfortable moving forward until the number of new COVID-19 cases went down consistently. After two weeks of dropping cases, the plan got underway.
If there’s a surge of cases throughout Indiana at any point, Holcomb will put things into reverse and ditch the plan.
That could throw a huge wrench into the reopening of casinos throughout the state.
The other factor that could derail casinos reopening is local governments. Holcomb’s guidelines are for the state as a whole, but he’s letting individual areas tighter restrictions as they see fit.
Take Michigan City’s Blue Chip Casino, for example.
Even when that stage four June 14 date comes around, Michigan City’s government might decide that it’s not safe yet for Blue Chip to reopen yet, even at half capacity.
Most cities will be eager to reopen casinos since the downtime has led to so much lost revenue. However, it will end up being a case by case situation.
Check for updates from the local government in the area that your favorite casino is located in for more information as that June 14 reopening date approaches.