- New York casinos reopen next week, Governor Cuomo confirms
- Drinking and smoking is back in Atlantic City casinos
- Illinois is getting brand-new casinos and sportsbooks
Governor Cuomo’s new directive lets New York casinos reopen after the COVID-19 closure that lasted for several months. New York is not the only state that’s winning the war against the coronavirus pandemic. Over in New Jersey, Atlantic City casino patrons are no longer banned from smoking and drinking, which was one of the restrictive measures for the last two months.
In Illinois, the gambling industry is getting bigger and bigger, while Michigan is considering becoming more liberal in terms of online gambling. That’s the exact opposite of what’s been going on the other side of the planet, where one Indian state has decided to ban this form of gambling entirely.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo Allows New York Casinos to Reopen
Governor Andrew Cuomo has given New York casinos the go-ahead to reopen on September 9 after a lengthy COVID-19 hiatus. Casino life, however, isn’t going to resume exactly where it stopped. Instead, NY casinos will have to undergo major changes.
First of all, the Governor’s directive limits the number of patrons inside the venues. According to the new rules, New York casinos will have to operate at 25 percent capacity, with the casino staff being in charge of monitoring the foot traffic. They will also have to make sure that everyone in the casino is wearing a face mask at any given moment, as well as ensure that social distancing measures are respected.
Casinos throughout the state will also have to install enhanced air-filtration systems, together with physical barriers between seats on table game floors. The new rules need to be in motion the moment New York casinos reopen, otherwise, the governor might be forced to reverse his decision. The New York State Police and New York Gaming Commission will be the ones in charge of monitoring the situation.
Smoking Re-Allowed in Atlantic City Casinos
Once New York casinos reopen on Wednesday, gambling aficionados will be able to play slot machines, card games, table games, and many other casino games in four commercial casinos within the state, as well as in more than 300 tribal gambling venues, some of which have already reopened. What they’re not going to be able to do is drink and smoke inside the casinos. At least not for the time being.
The same was the case for two months in Atlantic City. From July 2, when Atlantic City casinos reopened, no drinking and indoor smoking was allowed as per Governor Phil Murphy’s decision. However, that’s about to change over the Labor Day weekend.
Starting Friday, September 4, at 6 a.m., Atlantic City casino venues are permitted to serve drinks to their customers. Furthermore, casino patrons are once again allowed to smoke inside the premises.
The smoking/drinking ban was the reason why Borgata Atlantic City had initially decided to stay closed after the state-wide COVID-19 closure. The casino management did change the decision and Borgata reopened in the second half of July.
Update: Smoking ban in Atlantic City’s casinos ALSO ending tomorrow as indoor dining resumes too. NJ state senator says letting casino gamblers smoke is letting them not wear masks in casinos&risk spreading&catching virus in enclosed space. Urging @GovMurphy to ban @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/06HG9sSAE6
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) September 3, 2020
Not everyone was happy with New Jersey’s decision to lift the smoking ban, including Senator Joseph Vitale. The Democrat raised his concerns, pointing out that if smoking is allowed, the face mask rule is, de facto, broken. In his words, there’s “simply no way to smoke and wear face covering.”
Nevertheless, the ban has been lifted, but New Jersey still limits the number of patrons inside the casinos. Atlantic City casinos will have to keep operating at 25% capacity until further notice.
Chicago Cubs to Launch a Sportsbook at Wrigley Field
Over in Illinois, the gambling industry is flourishing. Even though online casino gambling remains banned in Illinois, people can play certain casino games in more than 7,000 different locations. There are ten riverboat casinos where Illinois gambling lovers can play such games as roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and similar. In addition, there are thousands of small venues with up to six slot machines, which is how many slots are allowed on the premises as per the Illinois gambling law.
More good news for Illinois gamblers is that since 2019, sports betting is legal in this state. In 2020, there are already several operational sportsbooks in Illinois, including both online platforms and retail sportsbooks. The sportsbook offer is going to get even more versatile in the near future as the Chicago Cubs are planning to team up with DraftKings to set up a sportsbook operation at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs and @DKSportsbook want to develop the largest individual sportsbook in the country at Wrigley Field. More on the plan for what could be one of the first betting operations at a major US pro sports venue: https://t.co/tLIdYHKRI6
— Danny Ecker (@DannyEcker) September 3, 2020
MLB teams cannot run their own sports betting operations, but Chicago Cubs do have the right to partner with a gambling company. Cubs’ owners, the Rickett Family decided to go into business with DraftKings, which already has a presence in Illinois.
DraftKings was one of the first companies to start a sports betting operation in the state that has legalized this form of gambling only a year ago. In the cooperation with Casino Queen in East St. Louis, DraftKings has been running an online sportsbook, available for all persons of legal age, located within the state borders.
FanDuel Mobile Betting App Goes Live in Illinois
DraftKings started out as a Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platform before moving to a proper gambling business. At the moment, the company is running many online sportsbook operations in many states where online betting is legal, one of which is Illinois.
DraftKings, however, is not the only DFS company to enter the Illinois betting market. Since last Friday, FanDuel has joined the party. In partnership with the Par-A-Dice Casino, FanDuel launched its mobile betting app aimed at Illinois bettors.
As a result, Illinois bettors now have three mobile betting apps at their disposal. Besides DraftKings and FanDuel, BetRivers also has its own mobile sportsbook.
FanDuel’s partnership deal with the Par-A-Dice Casino also stipulates that the two companies will launch a retail sportsbook. At the moment of writing, it’s still not clear when will it open. Still, once it does, visitors at the Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria will have the luxury to bet on sports in addition to playing traditional casino games.
Michigan Online Casino Legislation Ready to Change?
Across Lake Michigan, there’s another state ready to follow Illinois’ footsteps in relation to casino gambling. The State of Michigan has been very liberal in terms of classic casinos, with almost 30 gambling venues operating within the state limits.
The Michigan gambling law, however, has not been very liberal when online casino gaming is concerned. In fact, internet casinos are illegal in this state. However, that might change sooner than expected. With the COVID-19 shutting down Michigan casinos for several months, the state’s budget suffered a lot. It ended up severely damaged by the lack of gambling tax money. That prompted the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) to schedule a public consultation on issues like online gambling.
As recently revealed, the consultation is going to take place on September 23. Instead of holding it in a public venue, this time, the hearing will be done over the internet. Anyone interested can join in the discussion either by telephone or through the Microsoft Teams app.
Indian State of Andhra Pradesh Banishes Online Casinos
The attitude of many US states toward online gambling has changed in recent times, prompting many state officials to start drawing legislations that would path the way to the legalization. The same, however, hasn’t been the case everywhere in the world. In India, for example, one state has decided to outlaw this gambling form completely.
The government of Andhra Pradesh, a state that’s home to circa 50 million people, has decided to ban internet gambling, with some pretty severe punishments aimed at those who break the law. Both players and game organizers can face criminal charges under the new regulation, with possible jail time to up to one year.
Although this sounds super-extreme, India is not the only country where online gambling is punishable by law. Repercussions for online casino players are even more severe in countries like the United Arab Emirates and Brunei.
Even in the US, there are some states with pretty harsh online gambling laws. In Utah, for example, repeat offenders can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for playing online casino games. We at MobileCasinoParty believe that it’s always better to be safe than sorry. That’s why we urge you to make sure gambling is legal in your state before signing up to an online casino. You can find useful info about this on our Gambling by State page!