The state of New York is considered the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, and the state has taken severe steps to limit the spread. Forcing nonessential businesses to remain closed is one of the tactics being used in New York, and that included casinos throughout the state.
Even though Governor Andrew Cuomo insists that commercial casinos in the state are not even close to being allowed to reopen, the rules don’t apply to tribal properties in the state. Tribal nations do not have to follow state rules if they are on federally recognized reservations.
There are many powerful tribal nations located in the state of New York, and they are starting to grow impatient waiting for the restrictions to be lifted. One of the most powerful tribes in the state has announced a reopening date, and others are expected to follow suit in the coming days.
The Oneida Nation owns three casinos in the northern part of the state, and they are all set to reopen on June 10. Point Place Casino in Bridgeport, Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, and Yellow Brick Road Casino & Sportsbook in Chittenango will be the first properties that welcome guests back into their buildings.
It seems fitting that the Oneida Nation is the first tribe to announce reopening plans as they were the first tribe to announce the shut down of their properties. All three casinos listed above were closed on March 16, as they tried doing their part to stop the spread.
The Oneida Nation issued a statement on Friday announcing the reopening date, and they also pointed out their overall plan. The tribe has implemented several health and safety initiatives to keep both customers and employees safe.
The Oneida Indian Nation has been keeping close watch over the coronavirus numbers and watching the reopening plans throughout the state. The tribe feels comfortable announcing the June 10 date, and they are confident that they can reopen each of the three locations safely.
Leading The Way
The major player out of these three locations is the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona. This location has a gaming floor that spans over 125,000 square feet, and there are over 2,000 slot machines. A number of these slot machines will have to be shut down to ensure social distancing, but the casino is expected to see plenty of business upon opening up.
Native American tribes need the revenue from casinos to support their economy, and they have been affected in a big way by these closings. Tribal nations throughout the Northeast have become impatient, and a number of them are starting to announce reopening plans.
A pair of tribes in Connecticut are planning to open their doors on June 1, and that encouraged the Oneida Nation to explore this possibility as well. Governor Cuomo is expected to try to talk to the tribe in an effort to keep them closed, but he has no official power over them.
There are four commercial casinos located in the Northern part of the state as well, and all four of these casinos will remain closed. Governor Cuomo has noted that there is no clear timetable for these casinos to open, although it is not expected soon.
The Seneca Nation of Indians in New York is the largest in the state, but they have yet to announce plans to reopen any of their six locations. The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe also owns a popular casino in the state, but they are not considering opening at this time.
Both tribes are expected to see what happens with the Oneida Tribe before announcing their own plans.