Indiana Casinos Still Require Masks In Spite Of State’s Mask Mandate Ending

Posted on April 6, 2021 - Last Updated on April 13, 2021
Last Updated April 13

Indiana’s casinos will keep their COVID safety rules in place for now.

Gov. Holcomb is starting to roll back the pandemic restrictions now that March Madness is over.

For example, Indiana’s mask mandate is now a mask advisory.

Despite the rollbacks, you’ll still need a mask at your local casino for the time being.

Still need a mask at Indiana casinos

Last year, Gov. Holcomb put a statewide mask mandate into effect to help keep Hoosiers safe in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s starting to change now that around a million Indiana residents have their vaccinations.

Ending the mask mandate puts casinos in a tough spot. They could either leave it up to local governments or enforce their own rules.

The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) chose the latter.

The IGC’s new COVID rules for casinos are keeping safety precautions in place until at least May 1.

The commission will revaluate things after that date passes.

In other words, don’t be surprised if a casino asks you to put a mask on, even if you don’t need one at the grocery store or a local restaurant.

Putting out a blanket set of rules like this helps keep things consistent.

Some local leaders like Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett are keeping the mask rule in place, despite the statewide mandate ending.

If the IGC didn’t step in, every casino in the state could have had a different set of rules to follow from its local government. A trip to Caesars Southern Indiana could have been much different from a visit to Blue Chip Casino.

So even though the restrictions are easing up at a state level, expect to keep going through the COVID safety motions at casinos for at least a few more weeks.

Indiana casino table game rules change

Masks are still required, but what are the other safety rules for Hoosiers at casinos?

The new set of rules is more or less the same as the old one.

For example, every casino will still have to practice social distancing. You’ll notice that every other slot machine is taped off to help separate gamblers from each other.

You won’t be able to remove your mask unless you’re eating, drinking, or smoking. That’s nothing new for frequent casino visitors.

The big change in the new set of rules applies to table games.

Up until now, table games have had specific limits on how many people can play them at once.

Blackjack could have three players at one time, roulette could have four and so on.

The IGC’s latest rules remove those player caps.

You can fill up your favorite table game now, but you’ll still have to wear masks the entire time that you’re playing. That’s the case even if you want to eat, drink, or smoke.

Things might change after May 1 when the new set of rules comes in.

In the meantime, Hoosiers will have at least another month of COVID safety precautions.

Local governments can tweak rules

Those are the latest rules from the gaming commission, but things can still differ from place-place.

The IGC is allowing local governments to tweak some safety precautions as they see fit.

For example, Tropicana Evansville is no longer taking the temperature of gamblers on their way into the building.

Gamblers can also now remove their masks to drink or smoke while playing slot machines at Tropicana.

Most casinos have not relaxed restrictions quite that far.

So although every casino has to follow the new set of the IGC’s rules, you can still expect a little bit of variance between one casino and another.

Some casinos will ease up rules faster than others, but everyone will still have to follow the latest set of precautions until at least May 5.

Photo by Associated Press
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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