Illinois Bowling Center Owners Sue Governer For Hardships Imposed

Gov. Pritzker sued by Ill. bowling alleys for COVID-19 restrictions

ISBPA claims successive orders issued by Gov. Pritzker caused ‘tremendous emotional and economic hardship.’

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 11:30 AM EDT
Bowlig.(KOTA)By WIFR Newsroom

LINCOLNWOOD, Ill. (WIFR) – The Illinois State Bowling Proprietors Association filed a lawsuit asking a Lee County state court to invalidate Gov. Pritzker’s “unconstitutional and improper” exercise of authority to issue consecutive emergency declarations that improperly restrict the number of people allowed in a bowling center on Tuesday.

The ISBPA claims that successive orders issued by Gov. Pritzker have caused “tremendous emotional and economic hardship” during the past several months, according to a release on Tuesday. Currently, all bowling centers are restricted to a maximum of 50 people per location.

The ISBPA lawsuit asks the court to issue a restraining order prohibiting the state from enforcing the governor’s order and also requests the latest Executive Order issued by the governor be ruled invalid.

“Businesses such as gyms, waxing centers, tattoo parlors, retail stores, nail salons, restaurants, and other businesses face no 50-person cap and are allowed to have as many people as they want so long as they do not exceed 50 percent of their capacity,” according to R. William Duff, Jr., executive director of the ISBPA.

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Duff says bowling centers around the state have instituted a broad range of safety and sanitation measures, including maintaining at least one empty lane between each group bowling; daily temperature and wellness checks of employees; sanitation of all venue-provided equipment and reducing touch points in all facilities. Member bowling centers also have elevated their cleaning procedures and installed floor markings, plexiglass and signage to enforce social distancing.

Bowling can be done while wearing a face covering. The ISBPA invested an estimated $40,000 to purchase additional personal protective equipment to provide to bowling centers around the state, according to Duff.

“There are about 270 primarily independent family bowling centers in the state that provide an estimated 5,000 jobs and purchase about $65 million in goods and services on an annual basis. Member centers participate in various charity events that range from Junior Achievement and Special Olympics to the Lions Club International and the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans,” Duff said. “Most if not all the Illinois bowling centers support various youth leagues, participate in community fundraising efforts and donate prizes to different parent-teacher groups, sports teams and organizations that back disadvantaged children.”

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