Covid-19 - Awesome Hand Gaming


Updates on COVID-19 and it's impact on Illinois Video Gaming

The Latest:

On Friday, June 26, Illinois enters into Phase 4 of reopening, which includes indoor drinking and dining at bars and restaurants, with restrictions of course. Video Gaming is scheduled to resume on Wednesday, July 1. 

On Wednesday, May 20th, Governor Pritzker announced that bars and restaurants may open for outdoor seating starting on May 29th, as Illinois moves ahead into Phase 3 of the reopening plan. Businesses, bars, and restaurants must adhere to the Restore Illinois Safety Guidelines that can be found HERE.

On Tuesday, May 5th, Governor Pritzker announced the state’s phased reopening plan. The state is currently in Phase Two of the plan, which lays out five different phases of reopening amid the pandemic. The earliest Phase Three can begin is May 29th. It isn’t until Phase Four, “Revitalization,” that Restaurants and bars may reopen to patrons, with capacity limits in place. Learn more HERE.

On Thursday, April 23, Governor Pritzker extends the stay-at-home order from April 30th to May 30th, with several modifications. This includes:

  • The requirement to have your face covered in public when you can’t maintain a healthy distance of 6 ft from others.
  • Greenhouses and Garden Centers are allowed to reopen.
  • Retail stores may open for curbside pickup and delivery.

President Donald Trump announced on Sunday, March 29, that all US citizens must avoid nonessential travel or gathering in groups of more than 10 until at least April 30.

The Illinois Gaming Board has suspended all video gaming operations at all licensed video gaming establishments and suspended gambling operations at all casinos until at least April 30, 2020 due to COVID-19.

Illinois Video Gaming

The IGB recognizes the hardships caused by the pandemic and is attempting to alleviate some of that burden.

License Renewal Fees that were due on or before March 31, 2020 are now due 10 business days after the IGB resumes statewide Video Gaming Operation.

The IGB has suspended billing through at least April 8, 2020.

For those that prefer to continue making payments at this time, those payments can still be made online. The IGB advises that payments made during this period will help ease the administrative burden and reduce delays once operations resume.

View the full notice released by the IGB on March 25, 2020 HERE.

Applicable Government Assistance

State Emergency Small Business Grants and Loans Assistance

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is working with partners to launch emergency assistance programs for Illinois small businesses. These include:

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program

  • Bars and restaurants who generated under $1 million in revenue in 2019 and hotels who generated under $8 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible for this assistance. These funds are available to support working capital like payroll, rent, and operational shifts (like increased pick-up and delivery). For more information, and to learn how to apply, click HERE.

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

  • Businesses outside of Chicago with less than 50 workers and who generated under $3 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible to apply for low-interest loans of up to $50,000. After six months of oweing nothing, loan recipients will begin making fixed payments for the remainder of a five-year loan term.
    For more information, and to learn how to apply, click HERE.

Disaster Assistance

The US Small Business Administration provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters, such as the formal disaster proclamation made by Illinois’ Governor Pritzker on March 9. In response to COVID-19, small business owners are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.

For more information, and to learn how to apply, click HERE.

Federal Stimulus Bill

On Friday, March 27, President Donald Trump signed into law a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at helping workers, small businesses, and other industries struggling with the economic devastation caused by COVID-19. Here are some of the highlights:

Direct Payments to Individuals

  • Single Americans receive $1,200
  • Married couples receive $2,400
  • Parents receive $500 for each child under 17
  • Gross incomes over $75,000 start to phase out
  • Gross incomes over $99,000 don’t qualify

Student Loan Payments Suspended

  • Department of Education suspending payments without penalty through September 30, 2020.

Boost for Unemployment Benefits

  • The Federal Government will give jobless workers an extra $600 a week for four months on top of their state benefits.
  • Lawmakers want to add up to 13 weeks of extended benefits
  • New pandemic unemployment assistance program to provide jobless benefits to those who are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable to work because of the virus and don’t qualify for traditional benefits.

Protection Against Foreclosures and Evictions

  • Servicers of federally backed mortgage loans may not begin the foreclosure process for 60 days from March 18.
  • Forbearance on a federally backed mortgage loan of up to 60 days, which can be extended for four periods of 30 days each.
  • No fees, penalties, or additional interest may be charged as a result of delayed payments.
  • Not allowed to evict tenants solely for failure to pay rent for a 120-day period, and may not charge fees or penalties to tenants for failing to pay rent.

Other Allocations

  • $100 billion to hospitals
  • $500 billion to corporations, including airline companies and cruise lines
  • $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds.
  • $450 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program

Together, we are confident that our industry will get through these trying times. We are pleased that so many of our locations are able to offer curbside and delivery options during this time. If there are any status or service errors listed HERE, please email us NOW so that we can revise immediately.

In the meantime, we will continue to do our best to encourage our followers to support their local businesses! As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, Awesome Hand Gaming will remain vigilant and update our partners accordingly.