n the Journal & Topics coverage area, 113 establishments with video gaming licenses will be impacted by the suspension of all video gaming operations in Illinois through March 30.

“Before the end of this period, I will review the public health situation in connection with the Covid-19 virus to decide whether an extension of the suspension period is warranted,” said Illinois Gaming Board administrator Marcus D. Fruchter in an announcement of the 

suspension Monday.

This measure is part of numerous local, national and global efforts to slow the spread of novel coronavirus and its associated disease, Covid-19. Since the first cases of the virus were reported in China late last year, it has infected over 167,000 people worldwide — including 105 in Illinois — and led to more than 6,000 deaths.

Niles and Elk Grove Village have the highest number of establishments with video gaming licenses in the Northwest suburbs with 28 and 22 respectively. Another 18 are located in Wheeling, 15 in Mount Prospect, 13 in Prospect Heights, 10 in Buffalo Grove and seven in Rolling Meadows.

Some businesses with gaming licenses function officially as gaming cafes. Others are restaurants or bars that maintain video gaming machines, which were also impacted by the ban on bars and dine-in services announced Sunday (March 13) by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.