Most Indiana casinos ready to reopen next week under virus plans

Most of Indiana’s casinos will be ready to reopen their doors as soon as next Monday, June 15, under coronavirus safety plans they have submitted to state officials.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb last week said casinos could open as soon as June 14 under Stage 4 of his reopening plan.

The 13 state-regulated casinos have been closed since mid-March, when widespread shutdowns started to slow the coronavirus spread. The Michigan-based Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians announced Monday it plans to reopen its South Bend casino and three in southwestern Michigan on June 15.

The Indiana Gaming Commission required casino safety plans to include how they would encourage six-foot distancing between gamblers and limit the number of people at table games, along with requiring face masks for employees.

“They will all have measures in place to ensure they’re tracking capacity during the course of the gaming day,” said Jennifer Reske, the commission’s deputy director. “We’ve also eliminated any special events—no parties, any type of situation that lends itself to the congregating of a crowd.”

Several tribal casinos in Michigan have welcomed back gamblers, but reopening dates haven’t been set yet for the three Detroit casinos overseen by state officials.

Indiana casinos could still face greater restrictions from local health officials. The Indiana casinos have remained closed even as Gov. Eric Holcomb eased coronavirus restrictions on most other businesses beginning in early May.

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