Iowa Gaming Industry Leader on Casino Shutdown

(Note: the Prairie Meadows closing is 30 days and came prior to the governor’s order)

The governor’s emergency order requires the state-licensed casinos to shut down for the next two weeks. Iowa Gaming Association C-E-O, Wes Ehrecke (Air-uh-key), says four casinos had already made the decision to temporarily close — and others were discussing it.

Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona was the first to announce that it was suspending operations. The casino announced a 30-day closing and says it will continue paying employees during that time. Ehrecke says other casinos might follow that pay policy.

The casinos have restaurants that are part of their facilities and must shut down inside service — but under the governor’s order could still operate a restaurant drive-through or with take-out service. Eherecke is not sure if that will be an option for casinos.

Ehrecke is not sure what type of long-term impact this might have on the casinos.

The shut down under the emergency order is effective through March 31st.