Indiana Casinos Prep For Memorial Day Weekend Without COVID Restrictions

Posted on May 28, 2021

Memorial Day weekend is always a busy time for casinos.

Or at least, that’s the case when there isn’t a global pandemic going on.

All of Indiana’s casinos were down for the count at this time last year. The pandemic hit pause on Indiana gaming from March until June.

That won’t be the case this year as gamblers flock to their go-to spots over the long weekend.

The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) just lifted all of the state’s pandemic safety rules, so gamblers throughout the state will be making the most of the new freedom.

Indiana removes pandemic restrictions for casinos

Casinos will see bigger traffic this weekend since a huge portion of the country has Monday off.

That gives gamblers a chance to visit their local casinos or maybe even travel to check out a new one.

None of that would be possible without the state easing up its pandemic restrictions.

The COVID safety rules have been slowly rolling back over the course of the last few months, and things are now officially back to normal.

The IGC no longer has statewide requirements for casinos, so gamblers can enjoy a full-fledged casino experience for the first time since early March 2020.

It’s been a long road to get here over the last year, but casinos will finally feel like casinos again.

No masks, filled table games, full capacity, smoking, and all other aspects of pre-pandemic casinos are more than likely back in full force at your local spot.

Different rules at different casinos for Memorial Day?

There’s no blanket safety mandate for the state’s casinos, but you still might find a rule or two in place depending on where you live.

According to IGC Executive Director Sara Tait, that’s because of a recent change from Gov. Holcomb.

“The new executive order shifted responsibility to local governments, so the original standards put in place by the IGC are no longer utilized. Each Indiana casino is required to work with its local health department on its health and safety plan.”

In other words, local governments can still add pandemic restrictions if they want to.

However, running into COVID rules will probably be a rare sight now that the statewide mandates are over.

Some casinos got the ball rolling in advance.

For example, Tropicana Evansville removed all of its pandemic restrictions on May 21. The casino had previously rolled back its anti-smoking rules and limited capacity rates earlier this year.

Casinos are ready to move into a post-pandemic world. That makes it unlikely that they’ll keep restrictions in place going forward.

If you want to be 100% sure about things before you visit a casino, just check out its website to see what rules, if any, are still in place.

Memorial Day weekend gambling options

A holiday weekend with no pandemic restrictions should make for a busy stretch at Indiana casinos.

The holiday holds extra significance for Hoosiers because of the Indianapolis 500.

If you find yourself at a casino over the long weekend, then betting on the Indy 500 could be a fun way to try out the location’s sportsbook.

If you’re looking for a completely new experience, then visiting Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana could be a great option.

The brand new casino just opened for business in Gary two weeks ago, so Hoosiers will be flocking to the property to try things out.

For those looking for a staycation, French Lick Resort is offering a weekend full of activities including a dine-in move, DJ pool party, and corn hole tournament for hotel guests.

There is something for everyone this weekend.

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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