COVID Restrictions Ease For Casinos Across Indiana

Posted on February 25, 2021 - Last Updated on March 9, 2021

Indiana’s casinos are finally starting to free themselves from COVID-19s grip.

The restrictions on casinos throughout the state are starting to ease up now that Indiana’s pandemic numbers are improving.

The latest stats have all of the state’s casinos out of the red zone when it comes to the virus.

COVID rules for Indiana casinos

Gov. Holcombs current coronavirus plan gives each of Indiana’s 92 counties a color code. A county’s color changes every week based on the area’s new COVID numbers.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the color code system:

  • Blue Counties: Low COVID spread, things are going well
  • Yellow CountiesModerate community spread
  • Orange CountiesHigh level of COVID community spread
  • Red CountiesDanger! Very high levels of COVID spread

Overall, Indiana’s handling of the virus has improved drastically over the last few months.

Back in December, every single county in the state was either orange or red. As of Feb. 24, Indiana has eliminated all of its red zones and cut the number of orange down to three.

Casinos in red and orange counties have to follow extra safety rules.

For example, casinos in those counties have to section off special areas for eating, drinking and smoking. They also have to lower capacity by 15% once their county flips to red on the color code.

Indiana casino color codes

None of Indiana’s casinos have extra restrictions now that things are improving across the board.

Casinos still have to follow the typical rules such as mask mandates and social distancing, but they’re no longer bound by extra safety restrictions on drinking and smoking.

The color codes for each casino’s county update every Wednesday, but things are looking good. Every casino is either in a yellow or blue county right now.

Keeping things yellow or blue is great for gamblers in Indiana.

With fewer restrictions, Hoosiers can enjoy their go-to gambling spots without extra hoops to jump through.

Turbulent year for Indiana casinos

It’s been almost an entire year since the pandemic first shut down Indiana’s casinos.

The closures lasted for three months, and eventually led to permanent layoffs for casino employees.

Things are finally improving now that vaccines are rolling more frequently.

However, the pandemic still left its mark on the state’s gaming industry.

Indiana’s casinos lost 24% of their normal business days last year due to closures. That led to a 7% drop in the state’s overall casino revenue.

Those dips were hardly ideal, but things are turing around.

And compared to the rest of the country, those numbers could have been much worse. New York’s gaming revenue dropped by 57%, with Michigan experiencing a 56% dip.

With sports betting setting new records and casino restrictions easing up, Indiana’s gaming industry should be ready to rebound strongly in 2021.

Photo by Associated Press
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a sports writer based in Indianapolis, IN. He's an Indiana University graduate who's spent time as a sports reporter covering teams at the prep, collegiate and professional levels.

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