Impact of Coronavirus on legislative affairs and gambling across the US.

StateWise updates on Gambling laws due to Coronavirus Pandemic in US.

The rising cases of Coronavirus lead to a gradual shutdown in many states. What has been the impact on sports gambling in these states, as Assembly sessions are being held for determining legislation for sports betting?

New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania are the 3 states where online gambling is considered legal. Nevada adds to this list as one of the states offering legal online Poker services. Legal online casinos are to be opened in West Virginia as well as in Michigan, this year.

However, a social casino is one sole exception that is allowed in all states, regardless of the legislation around gambling.

Alabama

CASINO GAMBLING: Wind Creek shutting down at Atmore and Wetumpka, and at its establishment in Montgomery, till March 30, this year.

Wind Creek extended its closure on the grounds of the outbreak for 2 weeks, after temporarily shutting down on Saturday for sanitization. “Upon further consideration of the events occurring during these unprecedented times facing our communities and country, Wind Creek will voluntarily extend the closure of its Alabama properties until March 30, 2020,” an official statement released on the 15th of March.

LEGISLATION: Uncertainty on an extended period of the break, as lawmakers take their spring leave, while the Senate, as well as the House, decide to come back on the 31st of this month. A $5 million proposition was approved in the wake of the pandemic, for efficient testing and immediate response towards emergencies.

Alaska

CASINO GAMBLING: ‘Bingo halls’ and ‘Pull-tab’ games are the only practices that are legal in Alaska.

LEGISLATION: No reports on any probable change in the legislation. However, this might not be the case soon, as definite legislation to curb Coronavirus may be needed. The Capitol based in Juneau restricts the entry of officials and media personnel as well.

Arizona

CASINO GAMBLING: Phoenix area watches the closure of casinos, while a few tribal casinos take extra safety measures by cleaning up premises and offering sanitizers to customers as well.

LEGISLATION: Sessions are still being held, however, restricted from public viewing. Additional measures are being decided upon, along with a probability of extending the break.

Arkansas

CASINO GAMBLING: All casinos have been shut down. Oaklawn Park’s Hot Spring casino has shut down its premises since Monday and will continue doing so for the next 2 weeks. Horse races are still happening, however with no spectators allowed at the venue.

LEGISLATION: The capitol remains closed till April 7. The legislation would only be discussed upon the budget. An extended period of break might seem probable in the future.

California

CASINO GAMBLING: Tribal casinos in California, along with casinos & poker venues based in Los Angeles have begun shutting down since March 14. Casinos that had voluntarily shut down, are deciding whether or not to open up the premises by the last week of this month, depending upon the state of affairs. Harrah’s Resort in Southern California released a notice on Sunday saying that they would close their premises until March 30.

LEGISLATION: Gavin Newsom, Governor of the state, implemented a home-bound quarantine status in the state from March 19. This move might affect the tribal casino’s attempt to gain over a million signature to place sports betting legislation for the ballot in November. San Francisco Chronicle reports that it might be difficult for the tribal casino owners to gain that many signatures, as citizens are home-bound as an attempt to mass quarantine the state.

However, it would be better if the ballot move is not passed this November. That’s because mobile betting isn’t considered in this measure. A $1 billion financial aid has been approved by the legislation, to curb the ongoing increase in cases related to the Coronavirus pandemic. Soon, this legislation was followed by a break till April 13, as reported by the Associated Press. This move of suspension in affairs has been determined to be the first of its kind, since the last 158 years.

Colorado

CASINO GAMBLING: Denver Post reports that as much as 30 casinos are to be closed since March 16, this year. This will continue for another 30 days. Apart from casinos, gyms, theatres, bars, and restaurants would also remain shut down in this period.

LEGISLATION: All activities will remain to be shut down for a minimum of 2 weeks, beginning on March 14. 120-days legislation might be followed by this break, as this break would be considered as a recess for lawmakers.

Connecticut

CASINO GAMBLING: State casinos shall remain close starting from March 16 and onwards. After due negotiation with the tribes, they have agreed to shut down tribal casino venues on Tuesday night.

LEGISLATION: All legislative buildings including the capitol will remain shut within this period. Although it has been proposed that all legislative affairs might begin from March 30, there is a probable chance of getting extended as well.

Delaware

CASINO GAMBLING: All casinos including racinos such as the Dover Down and Harrington, have been shut down since March 16.

LEGISLATION: On March 18, the House, as well as the Senate legislators, passed the notice of postponing all legislative affairs, unless a reconvening might be needed to enforce an emergency legislature.

Florida

CASINO GAMBLING: South Florida Sun Sentinel reports the closure of The Seminole Tribe on Friday. The following casinos have remained temporarily closed after taking a voluntary decision to curb the pandemic: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at Hollywood and Tampa; Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee; Seminole Casino at Brighton, Coconut Creek and Gulfstream Park; and finally Seminole Classic Casino Hollywood Calder Casino.

LEGISLATION: The legislative session ended on Thursday by granting a financial aid of $93.2 billion. The budget might likely be amended this year before the commencement of the fiscal year from June. This has been done to assess the impact of the pandemic on the economy. However, no legislation for sports betting has been passed to date – a move that was put forward by the Seminole Tribe which has been paying $350 million annually.

Georgia

CASINO GAMBLING: Casinos are not present in the state.

LEGISLATION: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports of the sports betting legislative move that was declined since it couldn’t meet up with the scheduled deadlines. Certain amendments in sports betting, casino, and pari-mutuels, could have been amended in the constitution of the state if the House Resolution 378 would have received a full House recommendation and vote. Senate Bill 403 that had a deadline of March 12, was stalled on the same basis and thus, the sports betting legislature might not be moved until 2021. All legislative affairs have been ended post March 13, while no scheduled date has been notified regarding its reconvening.

Hawaii

CASINO GAMBLING: Casinos are absent in the state.

LEGISLATION: The Associated Press reports that all legislative affairs have been postponed from March 17 and there would be a recess followed until a date is decided for reconvening.

Idaho

CASINO GAMBLING: The Coeur d’Alene Casino remains closed for 2 weeks from March 20. However, some casinos remain open as they justify this decision by undertaking additional safety measures.

LEGISLATION: The legislative session ended on March 19, as reported by the Associated Press.

Illinois

CASINO GAMBLING: All 10 casinos of the state will remain shut till April 8 – an extension of its previous temporary closure, as notified by the Illinois Gaming Board. The first sports betting event of the state was held on March 9.

LEGISLATION: All activities, including legislative sessions, restaurants, bars, and public domain have been shut down till the last week of the month.

Indiana

CASINO GAMBLING: All 13 state-controlled gaming establishments would remain closed for 2 weeks, starting from March 16, as notified by the Indiana Gaming Commission.  This decision was justified “based on changing circumstances and in the interest of public health.”, as commented by the authorities.

LEGISLATION: The legislative session concluded, however, that might reconvene if an emergency measure is required.

Iowa

CASINO GAMBLING: Many casinos and resorts have shutdown premises from March 16, such as the Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in Riverside, Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport and Grand Falls Casino Resort in Larchwood closed March 16, as reported by the Des Moines Register.

LEGISLATION: The session will remain suspended for 30 days.

Kansas

CASINO GAMBLING: On March 17, the state authorities have asked all casinos to remain shut for 2 weeks.

LEGISLATION: All public viewings and interactions inside the premises have been closed to the general public, but will be open only for personnel. Legislative amendment on sports betting has been postponed for now. A new budget might be decided upon, depending upon the effect of the pandemic on the economy, while a break might be observed till mid-April or even more.

Kentucky

CASINO GAMBLING: Casinos remain absent in the state; however, this might change with a new amendment to include gambling along with horse racing betting in the state.

LEGISLATION: The state law requires a 2-year state budget to be decided upon by April 15. However, a reconvening might be observed on March 26, where even the legislation for sports betting is up for consideration.

Louisiana

CASINO GAMBLING: All the 20 casinos would remain closed for 2 weeks, starting from March 17 – as notified by the gaming control board.

LEGISLATION: All legislative sessions would be postponed for 2 months. This is the first state that took a step towards postponing all presidential primaries.

Maine

CASINO GAMBLING: Most Casinos remain closed in the state. Casinos such as the Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway in Bangor and Oxford Casino Hotel would remain closed for a minimum of 2 weeks in efforts to limit the spread of the pandemic.

LEGISLATION: The session has concluded, with a possibility of reconvening as a step to take emergency measures. The sports betting amendment was vetoed upon by the Governor, while the House couldn’t override this step of the Governor, as done by the Senate.

Maryland

CASINO GAMBLING: All casinos, horse racing tracks, and other betting establishments have been shut down from March 15, with no definite date scheduled for their opening mentioned.

LEGISLATION: Legislative session was concluded as fears of the Coronavirus put pressure on the authorities. A bill for sports betting was moved where voters have been asked to legalize the move by voting in November, this year.

On March 19, the Senate moved and voted for approving the bill after the House session. This would be followed by a voting referendum as stated by the law. This would mean that additional measures regarding the working around sports betting will have to be finalized.

The session was to go on till April 6. This is the first time a session has been pared down on its schedule, since during the Civil War.

Massachusetts

CASINO GAMBLING: All 3 casinos have been closed in the state, as notified by the state’s Gaming Commission. However, the Gaming Commission also notified about the possibility to reconsider its decision.

LEGISLATION: All hearings have been put on hold and postponed for now, while a decision was made to conduct it through other means.

Michigan

CASINO GAMBLING: March 16 saw the closure of 3 casinos -MGM Grand, Greektown, as well as MotorCity. 23 of the state’s tribal casinos had to shut down their premises as well after the Governor issued a notice restricting the gatherings of more than 250 people. The first official legal sports betting was carried out on March 11.

LEGISLATION: All proceedings have been temporarily adjourned till March 25, I.e. a 2-week break.

Minnesota

CASINO GAMBLING: Casinos are gradually closing down. A report by TwinCities.com states that casinos like Grand Casino at Mille Lacs & Hinckley, as well as Canterbury Park in Shakopee had to close down their services on Monday, while there was a temporary closure of Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort till March 27.

LEGISLATION: All proceedings have been stalled till April 14.

Mississippi

CASINO GAMBLING: In a report by Clarion Ledger, it was mentioned that all casinos have been asked to close down services by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. No definite deadline has been notified by the Commission as it states that it will keep a close check on any advancements.

LEGISLATION: All proceedings have been adjourned till April this year.

Missouri

CASINO GAMBLING: The governor made a statement where it was mentioned that all casinos have been shut down since Wednesday. This closure might go till March 30.

LEGISLATION: As the legislative assembly goes on a break, the Capitol and all other state buildings have been shut down from access. There was a positive case amongst one of the officials as well.

Montana

CASINO GAMBLING: Many casinos have been closed down for 2 weeks, including Glacier Peak Casino, S&K Gaming, Lil Peaks Casino.

LEGISLATION: All proceedings have been cancelled, however, staff are allowed to work through remote means.

Nebraska

CASINO GAMBLING: Additional precautions have been undertaken, as the 4 tribal casinos have been allowed to function.

LEGISLATION: There has been an undetermined duration of recess on all legislative proceedings.

Nevada

CASINO GAMBLING: On March 17, the Governor ordered all businesses that are to be categorized as non-essential, to close down their premises, including casinos.

LEGISLATION: The legislation meets only on odd-numbered years, hence, not in session at the moment.

New Hampshire

CASINO GAMBLING: Casinos are still functioning here.

LEGISLATION: After a member of the state was tested as a positive case, all proceedings have been stalled till April 10.

New Jersey

CASINO GAMBLING: All casinos have stopped functioning from March 16. Governor states on Monday – “With all we are seeing in our state — and across our nation and around the world — the time for us to take our strongest, and most direct, actions to date to slow the spread of coronavirus is now. I’ve said many times over the past several days that, in our state, we are going to get through this as one New Jersey family,”. “But if we’re all in this together, we must work with our neighbouring states to act together. The work against coronavirus isn’t just up to some of us, it’s up to all of us.” Online casinos would still be functioning.

LEGISLATION: All legislative work has been postponed starting from the current week.

New Mexico

CASINO GAMBLING: The Pueblo of Pojoaque has shut down activities from March 16 and might continue this for another 2 weeks. Many casinos have stopped functioning and will continue for 30 days.

LEGISLATION: All legislative sessions have been concluded.

New York

CASINO GAMBLING: As per the measure taken by the Governor, all casino premises will remain closed from Monday, 8 p.m.

LEGISLATION: The public access at the capitol and other state buildings have been stalled. A new budget might be put forward by the state this week. 3 members belonging to the state assembly have been identified with a positive result against the disease.

North Carolina

CASINO GAMBLING: Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee and Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy have shut down activities on March 18 and will continue to do so for another 2 weeks.

LEGISLATION: All proceedings would commence on April 28.

North Dakota

CASINO GAMBLING: Dakota Magic Casino & Hotel, Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel, and Dakota Connection Casino have closed down services from March 22. However, a few tribal casinos are still functioning at the moment.

LEGISLATION: All legislative proceedings occur in years that end on an odd number, hence, not functioning right now.

Ohio

CASINO GAMBLING: As per the orders of the Governor that restricted the gatherings of people that exceed more than 100, casinos and even racinos have been shut down until further notice.

LEGISLATION: There is a probability of a period of extension of the recess, as the assembly is on break till March 23.

Oklahoma

CASINO GAMBLING: In a report by The Oklahoman, it was stated that casinos owned by the Chickasaw and Cherokee nations have been shut down until March 31. Lucky Star Casinos owned by the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes have also stopped offering services until April 2.

LEGISLATION: An emergency meeting was called upon to assess the situation of the pandemic in the state.

Oregon

CASINO GAMBLING: Immediately after an official was tested positive against the virus, the Wildhorse casino was immediately locked down. However, it soon opened up within the same week itself. Many tribal casinos have been shut down temporarily.

LEGISLATION: The capitol building is out of bounds for the public, as the legislative proceedings continue to work during this time. The Special Joint Committee conducted its meeting to discuss issues related to the pandemic.

Pennsylvania

CASINO GAMBLING: Under the notice served by the Gaming Control Board, all casinos shut down services from March 17.

LEGISLATION: All primaries have been postponed till June 2, under the notice issued by the Governor and the associated lawmakers of the state.

Rhode Island

CASINO GAMBLING: Rhode Island Lottery closed down casinos – Twin River Casino Hotel and the Tiverton Casino Hotel, from March 14 and might be extended until March 27 as a possibility as well.

LEGISLATION: All proceedings have been gutted for the current week.

South Carolina

CASINO GAMBLING: Casinos are not present in the state.

LEGISLATION: The assembly takes a break in this current week.

South Dakota

CASINO GAMBLING: Under the notice served by the Mayor, all casinos have temporarily been shut down from functioning.

LEGISLATION: All proceedings had been concluded, however, the veto sessions could be held again by the last week of March.

Tennessee

CASINO GAMBLING: Currently, no casinos have been established in the state. Sports betting has recently been introduced and thus, rules and formulations are being worked upon by the responsible task force authorities.

LEGISLATION: Tall proceedings have been stalled from March 19, with no indication of the date of commencement.

Texas

CASINO GAMBLING: All closings have been voluntarily carried out by the state’s tribal casinos.

LEGISLATION: Under the state’s laws, legislative assemblies are held in years that are odd numbers only.

Utah

CASINO GAMBLING: There is a prohibition around gambling that is followed in the state.

LEGISLATION: All proceedings were concluded by March 13.

Vermont

CASINO GAMBLING: No casino establishments found in this state.

LEGISLATION: All proceedings are currently being held online or through the phone. There is a possibility of suspending all other non-essential proceedings. A bill for sports betting was recently adopted in the State Senate.

Virginia

CASINO GAMBLING: Although there are no casino establishments in the state, recent legislation had been passed by the legislators that legalized gambling and sports betting practices in the state domain.

LEGISLATION: All proceedings have been concluded.

Washington

CASINO GAMBLING: Under the orders issued by the governor, all restaurants and entertainment institutions have been barred down starting from Sunday. Many of the state’s tribal casinos have temporarily shut down their premises till the end of March.

LEGISLATION: All proceedings were concluded. Recent legislation was put forward to allow sports betting in the tribal casinos of the state.

West Virginia

CASINO GAMBLING: All casinos have been asked to shut down temporarily.

LEGISLATION: All proceedings have been concluded.

Wisconsin

CASINO GAMBLING: The Potawatomi Hotel & Casino have shut down its premises on March 17. Many tribal casinos have also started to shut down their services gradually.

LEGISLATION: Legislative assembly sessions were concluded, while there was one session to be held at the Senate on March 24.

Wyoming

CASINO GAMBLING: Northern Arapaho Tribe has shut down operations without mentioning any commencement date. The Eastern Shoshone Tribe has also followed by the closure of its casino.

LEGISLATION: All proceedings were concluded.

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