Illinois Reopening: Casinos reopen across IL as part of Phase 4

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois casinos welcomed back visitors Wednesday as the state continues in Phase 4 of reopening.

Folks were ready as they walked into the doors of the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines for the first time in months.

"I am very happy," said Edward Rozyski. "Today is nice day. I think it will be fine."

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Some even came prepared to stay safe inside.

"We've got our gloves, we've got our face masks in here, it's all right in here," said patron Garland Armstrong.

"You've got to make sure you stay six feet," said patron Heather Armstrong.

At Rivers Casino, all guests and workers will undergo a health screening before entering the casino.

You will be required to wear a mask or face covering. You'll notice spaced out card tables surrounded by plexiglass and about half the slot machines will be in use to allow for social distancing. Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be available too.

"We're really trying to push a clean environment both in hand cleanliness as well as machine cleanliness," said Cory Wise, general manager of Rivers Casino Des Plaines. "So we have hand sanitizer wipes all over property, hand sanitizer."

The Illinois Gaming Board laid out strict cleaning and spacing guidelines for all 10 casinos across the state.

Decks of cards, cash, chips, and dice will be constantly swapped out and sanitized.

The good news not just to patrons, but to those that need to get back to work.

"We get 1,200 employees back to work and get the economic engine going again from an employment prospective and then obviously the tax dollars to the state are very important," Wise said.

Most of Indiana's casinos reopened two weeks ago to long lines of people eager to gamble. Illinois is hoping to see the same demand.

The state's casinos generate more than $15 million in state tax revenue and nearly $6 million in local tax dollars.
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