Since March 16, casinos in New York State have been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While other states have gotten back to work via gaming venues, including New Jersey, New York has been unable to do so. The state was the hardest hit by the virus and Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking a very careful approach to reopening. After announcing that he was going to provide info this week on reopening, we now know that casinos can get back to work on September 9.
Reopening Plan Provided
On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the reopening plan for the state. Casinos will be allowed to get back to work at 25% capacity. Anyone entering the casino must wear a face mask. Some slot machines will need to be shut down to ensure social distancing between gamblers. Table games have not been approved by the state.
Casinos would like to offer both slots and table games. Operators are hoping that if they install physical barriers like plexiglass that the governor will allow the games to get back to work. Along with casinos getting back to work, all racetrack casinos can reopen. This means players will now have access to gaming options after almost six months.
Air filtration systems are also a must. The casinos are required to install such systems so that they can protect employees and guests. Cuomo said on a conference call that this type of filtration system must be in place before a casino will get the go-ahead to open.
Casinos in New York are now working quickly to be ready to reopen on the 9th. Resorts World Catskills and the Resorts World racetrack casino in Queens is hoping to be ready by this Wednesday. The company announced that a plan has been integrated to ensure guests have a nice experience while also following stringent health protocols for safe operation.
Resorts World will have a minimum of 200 hand sanitizer stations in the Catskills property. The facility has an air filtration system already in place that exceeds state mandated standards. Resorts World Catskills will not offer valet parking and its bus system. They will offer these services later on as safety protocols change.
The remaining three private casinos have not announced what they plan to do as part of reopening. Tioga Downs is apparently waiting for the official guidance documents from the state before deciding on an opening day.
The announcement of reopening comes at a time when New York State casino employees have been rallying for the Governor to allow them to go back to work. The employees in the state’s casino industry have waited longer than any other US state in the hopes of getting back to work.
Employees will be happy to be going back to work so quickly after being out of work for almost six months. It is unclear as to if the rally’s played a role in the casinos reopening or if the Governor just felt like now was a time to do so.