Harrah's Metropolis

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Gaming Board has ordered all 10 casinos in the state to suspend operations for 14 days starting Monday, citing public health concerns over the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19

“The public health of patrons, casino employees, IGB staff, and others is of paramount importance,” the board said in a statement late Friday. “The board is continuously monitoring developments and will update licensees and the public as frequently as possible.”

Gaming Board Administrator Marcus Fruchter said in a letter sent to the casinos that before the end of the 14-day period he would review the public health situation and decide whether the suspension of operations should be extended.

The action was just the latest in a series closures and event cancellations that have occurred in the past week as the number of people in Illinois diagnosed with the virus has grown to more than 40.

Earlier Friday, Gov. JB Pritzker ordered public schools to close starting Tuesday, March 17, and remain closed through March 30. He has also ordered the cancellation of public events that draw more than 1,000 people. And the Illinois General Assembly has said it will not reconvene until at least March 24.

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