Elgin’s Grand Victoria Casino To Reopen Wednesday With Fewer Slots, Reduced Capacity, Social Distancing

The Grand Victoria Casino is to reopen Wednesday for the first time in more than three months, but it won’t be gaming as normal.

The Elgin casino is one of 10 state casinos being allowed to welcome back customers, but it must comply with a list of state social distancing and safety requirements, including reduced capacity, fewer slot machines, fewer table games players and mandatory face coverings.

Grand Victoria’s reopening will mirror those they’ve already done at other casinos owned by its parent company, Nevada-based Eldorado Resorts, officials said.

“As we reopen, the health and safety of our team members and guests will continue to be our top priority and we have implemented new safety protocols and social distancing measures to keep them safe and comfortable on property,” spokeswoman Marilou Pilman said in an emailed statement.

The Illinois Gaming Board had casino operators submit a pandemic resumption plan in which they outlined how they would operate to ensure visitor and employee safety from the coronavirus. The board also issued a list of restrictions and protocols casinos must follow.

Initially, capacity will be limited to 50% and only every other slot machine will be available for use, per state regulations. Seating will be reduced at gaming tables, following guidelines from Eldorado Resorts.

Six-foot social distancing will be enforced at table games, slot machines, restaurants and other common areas. Under Eldorado’s plan, guests will not be able to gather behind players seated at table games.

All casino employees and visitors must wear some form of face covering and hand-sanitizing stations have beens set up throughout the casino, per state rules.

As is done at other Eldorado casinos, the Grand Victoria will undergo more cleaning and disinfecting, with a particular emphasis on high-touch items, surfaces and public spaces.

Grand Victoria’s buffet, valet parking and poker rooms cannot resume yet under state rules, but its Crave Deli will reopen Wednesday.

Grand Victoria is the second-to-last casino operated by Eldorado Resorts to reopen. Eldorado operates 23 casinos in the United States.

“The health and safety of our team members and guests remains our top priority and we have been working very hard over the last three months to prepare to welcome our guests back,” Anthony Carano, president/COO of Eldorado Resorts, said in a news release.

Several precautions are being put in place at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, including a reduction in slot machines and players at gaming tables, to provide safety for patrons and employees when it reopens for business Wednesday. (Rafael Guerrero / The Courier-News)

Prior to the closure of all Illinois casinos in March, the state’s 10 gaming facilities had generated $203 million in adjusted gross receipts through the end of February, according to Illinois Gaming Board records. Both months’ receipts totals were outpacing January and February of last year.

Records show that state’s casinos had brought in more than 1.6 million visitors in the first two months of the year, an increase from the same period in 2019.

The Grand Victoria Casino reported the third-highest adjusted gross receipt total and attendance among the state’s 10 casinos in 2019 and early 2020, numbers show.

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