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Don't bet on Indiana casinos reopening while stay-at-home order is in effect
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Don't bet on Indiana casinos reopening while stay-at-home order is in effect

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Slot machines at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond.

It's a pretty safe bet Indiana's casinos will not be reopening Monday when the shutdown ordered by the Gaming Commission to minimize the spread of coronavirus reaches two weeks.

The commission's directive to close the five commercial casinos in Northwest Indiana, and eight casinos elsewhere in the state, specified the gaming facilities would be shuttered "in the interest of public health" for "at least 14 days."

Since the casinos locked their doors March 16, Gov. Eric Holcomb has issued a statewide stay-at-home order that, in addition to directing all Hoosiers to avoid nonessential travel, also required the temporary closure of all places of public amusement.

The governor's stay-at-home order currently is in effect until April 7. Though Holcomb has suggested he will extend it, if needed, to reduce the continued transmission of coronavirus.

Sara Tait, executive director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, told The Times Thursday she expects the commission will follow the governor's lead in deciding when to allow the casinos to reopen.

"At this point, it is unknown when it may be appropriate to consider reopening of the casino properties, but it seems likely the closures will be consistent with the governor's executive orders," Tait said.

Illinois' 10 casinos also were shut down March 16 for 14 days. The Illinois Gaming Board has not set a reopening date.

Gallery: Once-bustling Region sites empty as COVID-19 infects NWI

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