Gamblers who don’t want to have to leave a casino for a couple of hours when they close for a while in the early morning hours will have to still cross the state line to get their games on, according to a Chicago Tribune report on Thursday. Gambling regulators in Illinois have said that the gaming facilities in the state will not be allowed to remain open 24 hours a day.
Aaron Jaffee, the Illinois Gaming Board Chairman, announced that a casino trade group’s request to keep casinos open to the public 24 hours a day instead of 22 hours a day has been denied. Therefore, the 10 casinos in the Land of Lincoln will continue operating for the public just 22 hours a day.
Persons who wanted the change in the Illinois gaming law to match casinos across state lines where casinos are open 24 hours a day. Indiana, Missouri, and Iowa allow casinos to operate 24/7. Also, there are video gaming machines at truck stops that are operating 24 hours. Those opposed to the 24-hour-per-day operation of Illinois casinos basically argue that people forget to go home and become gambling addicts when the casinos never close.
Illinois casinos are allowed to set their own hours of operation which must be approved by the gambling regulators. Hours of operation, therefore, may be different at different casinos, but the casinos can only be open for 22 hours.
Rivers Casino in Des Plaines near O’Hare Airport – the state’s most successful gaming venue - for example, is closed from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily, while Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin is closed daily from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Other casinos have other morning hours of closure. In a different scenario, Aurora’s Hollywood Casino closes 4 hours a day during the week and 2 hours on the weekend.