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ILLINOIS GAMING UPDATE

August 25, 2020 – Governor Pritzker has ordered changes to Illinois Video Gaming in Region 4 (Metro East) and Region 7 (Northeastern Illinois) due to increasing positivity rates and other factors measured by the Illinois Department of Health’s regional metrics.

New COVID-19 Regulations

Thursday, Nov 12, 2020

* The advisory is similar to what the governor has already issued. The regulations appear to anticipate the state’s Tier 2 mitigations…

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) today launched a new citywide strategy – “Protect Chicago” – an effort to help Chicago bend the COVID-19 curve for the second time. This strategy calls on all Chicagoans to change their behavior through targeted regulations, strong messaging, and a community-based outreach strategy. If changes are not made by Chicago residents, businesses, and visitors to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the city is on track to lose 1,000 more Chicagoans by the end of the year or even more.

“Chicago has reached a critical point in the second surge of COVID-19, demanding that we undertake this multi-faceted and comprehensive effort to stop the virus in its tracks,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “The gains we have made this past year have been the result of our willingness to work together. Even in this difficult moment, we will continue to unite as we always have for our city in order to halt the rise we’re seeing, shake out of the fatigue we’ve been experiencing, and make the crucial difference in what our future is going to look like.”

A key pillar of the “Protect Chicago” strategy will be the implementation of several regulatory measures aimed at combating the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Chief among these new efforts is a Stay-at-Home Advisory, which calls on all Chicagoans to follow clear measures to protect their community and help us flatten the curve. Residents are strongly advised to adhere to the Advisory by following these guidelines, which will go into effect on Monday, November 16, 2020, at 6:00 a.m.:

  • Only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up take-out food, or receiving deliveries. If you do leave home, practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others and wearing a face covering at all times.
    • Do not have gatherings in your home with anybody outside of your household (except for essential staff such as home health care workers or educators), even with trusted family or friends.
    • Avoid all non-essential, out-of-state travel; if travel is essential, quarantining or testing negative prior to travel is required, depending on which state a traveler is originating from.
    • Comply with City and State Orders, including wearing face coverings, limiting gatherings, and mandating early closure of non-essential businesses at 11 p.m.
    • Practice social distancing and avoid touching surfaces frequently touched by others if you go outside to get fresh air.
    • Use remote modes of communication like phone or video chat instead of visiting friends or family, especially on holidays such as Thanksgiving.

In addition to the Stay-at-Home Advisory, the City is imposing new restrictions to limit meetings and social events to 10 individuals (both indoors and outdoors), which will also go into effect on Monday, November 16, 2020, at 6:00 a.m. This capacity limit applies to events such as weddings, birthday parties, business dinners/social events, and funerals, and is applicable to any venue where a meeting or social event is taking place, including meeting rooms. However, the capacity limit does not supersede industries that have specific capacity guidelines in place, which include fitness clubs, retail stores, personal services and movie theaters (generally, 40% or 50 individuals max., whichever is fewer). More information on the new restrictions can be found at chicago.gov/reopening.

“We are at a critical point in our ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno. “Everybody needs to step up right now to flatten the curve, save lives and help our businesses reopen safely.”

These new regulations and the Stay-at-Home Advisory will be paired with the activation of a community-based outreach strategy that aims to reach all Chicagoans, especially those who live and work in COVID-19 hotspots, which are currently on Chicago’s Northwest and Southwest Sides. The “Protect Chicago” strategy will be pushed out citywide on digital assets and through collateral materials, all zeroing in on the guidance that will keep Chicagoans safe and healthy. The City plans to leverage more than 1,000 City workers, up to 550 contact tracers, and a network of hundreds of community-based organizations to reach Chicagoans who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. The outreach team will be conducting data-based, geo-targeting efforts to focus on the highest-incidence zip codes, neighborhoods and census tracts to provide resources, information and support to individuals and families who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. Chicago has seen spread in every zip code, age group, and race and ethnicity, and the City has partnered with minority-owned communications firms – Flowers Communications Group and Imagen Marketing Consultants – to ensure the strategy is targeted to COVID-19 hotspots and resonates with the communities most severely impacted by the virus.

“Protect Chicago” builds upon already-existing regulations and guidelines designed to manage the second wave of COVID-19. The City continues to recommend that Chicagoans avoid all gatherings in private residences, with an exception for essential staff such as home healthcare workers or educators. Furthermore, CDPH Health Orders require that indoor gatherings within private residences be limited to six non-household members. The City has the authority to fine individuals for breaking this requirement and hosting large social gatherings in their private residences. Lastly, earlier this week, CDPH updated the City’s emergency travel order, however, the recommendation remains for residents to avoid all non-essential, out-of-state travel.

“Protect Chicago” has been developed in coordination with CDPH to respond to evolving public health data and trends that show Chicago deep into a second surge of COVID-19. Chicago, the region, and the nation as a whole have experienced several weeks of steeply rising new daily cases, and the test positivity rate has also been increasing and is now above 14% in the city. Chicago is seeing more than 1,900 new daily cases based on a 7-day rolling average, which is a higher rate than at any time during the pandemic. While Black and Latinx residents continue to be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, these increases are being seen across age, race and ethnicity.

“The data are troubling, and I’m very concerned we could be looking at tens of thousands of more cases, which would overwhelm the healthcare system and lead to hundreds more deaths,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “But we know what works and what we need to do to bend the curve. We did it once and I know we can do it again.”

Ways to combat COVID-19

There are a variety of ways to combat the spread of COVID-19, from frequently cleaning high-touch surfaces to sending home employees who are sick and more. There is a lot of information available to location owners during this time, but we have compiled some of suggested establishment cleaning tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help assist your location during this time.

Basic Tips for Cleaning Your Establishment

Wear disposable gloves for all tasks in the cleaning and sanitizing process, including handling trash. Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) might be required based on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash. Gloves (and gowns, when necessary) should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area.

Clean surfaces using soap and water and practice routine cleaning of high touch surfaces including tables, doorknobs, sinks, etc.

Disinfecting Your Location

Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant. It is recommended use of EPA-registered household disinfectant. Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.

Many products recommend:

  • Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label)
  • Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Clean and Sanitize the Gaming Area

Ensure you are thoroughly cleaning the VGTs and Redemption Devices including armrest surfaces, button panels, cabinet surfaces. It is recommended to use a bleach-free disinfecting wipe to clean and sanitize the VGT. Bleach can hurt the surfaces of the VGT. When cleaning the machines, avoid abrasive cloths and towels, and keep liquids, aerosol sprays and bleaches away.

Diminishing the Risk

Make sure everyone in your establishment is doing their part to help reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. Instruct your employees to follow proper hygiene and wash their hands often and keep workplace areas clean and disinfected. These general guidelines are critical to abide by, both in and outside of the establishment.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Always wash immediately after removing gloves and after contact with a sick person.
  • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.

During this uncertain time, empower employees by developing policies for worker protection and provide cleaning training to all staff prior to proving cleaning tasks. Make sure that your employees are aware of the symptoms of COVID-19, and provide instruction about what to do if they develop symptoms.

 

Illinois Gaming Board

To prevent the further spread of the unprecedented COVID-19 virus and protect public health and safety, the Illinois Gaming Board has extended the suspension of all Illinois video gaming operations. Learn more.

 

Resources Page

It is essential to balance the impact coronavirus is having on businesses across the region. Lucky Street Gaming is here to help and support our clients in finding that balance however we can. We have created the Lucky StreetResource Program to help you navigate and understand the loans, grants, and programs available to you.

We will be updating this list as additional programs are created.

 

Local Programs

Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Resource Center offers listings of open restaurants, business closures, and learning opportunities. If you are a restaurant, RACVB will list the location and if you are open for delivery, carryout, or through a third-party delivery app. If you are a hotel or attraction, RACVB will list if you are open or what additional procedures you have in place to ensure the safety of your guests and staff.

Small Business Emergency Relief Fund of Rockford aids local businesses through the next 60-90 days until additional state and federal funds are made available. Your business should be a for-profit organization with less than 100 employees, have an average credit score, and a year of operations or other financial information to qualify. To learn more about this fund, contact John Phelps at John@rldc.us or Andrew Jury at Andrew@rldc.us or call at 815-987-8675.

 

State Programs

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund offers small business loans low-interest loans up to $50,000. Your business should have less than 50 people and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 to qualify as a business outside of Chicago. Borrowers need to have experienced a 25% decrease in revenue as a direct result of COVID-19. Successful applicants will pay nothing for six months. These loans are 5-year, 3% simple annual interest loans. Please be aware that non-profits and farms are not eligible.

 

Federal Programs

The United States Small Business Administration has several programs to help businesses through this time, including the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance, SBA Debt Relief, and SBA Express Bridge Loans.

 

Private Organization Programs

Facebook Small Business Grant is offering $100 million in grants to companies experiencing disruption during this outbreak. The specifics of this program have yet to be released. This information will be updated as more information is made public.

 

THE ABOVE REPRESENTATIONS ARE NOT NOR ARE THEY INTENDED TO BE TAX OR LEGAL ADVICE AND ARE ONLY INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES. WE DO NOT MAKE ANY CLAIM OR REPRESENTATION REGARDING THE SUITABILITY OR AVAILABILITY OF ANY OF THE PROGRAMS DESCRIBED HEREIN FOR YOU, YOUR BUSINESS OR ANY OTHER BUSINESS OR THIRD PARTY WITH WHOM YOU MAY SHARE THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR TAX ADVISOR, ATTORNEY OR BANKING RELATIONSHIP MANAGER REGARDING THESE PROGRAMS AND HOW THEY MAY BE UTILIZED BY YOU, YOUR BUSINESS.