New York Casino Employees Schedule More Rally’s for Reopening

New York State is one of the hardest hit when it comes to the coronavirus. When the pandemic began in the US, New York was an epicenter. The state had thousands and thousands of cases with strict safety measures put in place to try and slow the spread and gain control of the situation. The state has been in recovery for quite some time, yet there are still businesses that are not operational, such as casinos. Governor Andrew Cuomo is not comfortable yet allowing these venues to get back to work but casino employees want to return.

Over the past few days, employees of casinos in the state have come together and hosted rally’s in order to be able to earn a living once again. Just one week after staging a rally in Albany, the state capitol, the workers are now taking their message on the road to gaming facilities.

Rally for Work

While tribal operated casinos are fully operational, commercial casinos in New York are not. Employees are now planning rallies for this week at five gaming facilities that remain closed due to Covid. The effort comes at a time when Governor Cuomo has allowed other faculties to reopen open, such as gyms and bowling alleys.

Employees feel that if these facilities are allowed to reopen, then so should they. According to the governor, the decision to reopen is based on how essential the business is compared to the risk of the virus spreading.

Casinos are considered hot spots of sorts as they have high touch areas like ATMs and the games that could lead to potential spread of the virus. Cuomo has yet to say anything about the situation, even after the first rally took place.

The employees are hoping that the next round of rally’s will get the governor’s attention. They will be gathering at the del Lago, the Resorts World Catskills, the Rivers Casino Resort, Vernon Downs and the Tioga Downs. A potential rally may also take place at the Finger Lakes Gaming facility.

Facing Job Loss

Employees of New York casinos are facing job loss as the closures continue. Back in July, the four full-service commercial casinos in the state as well as related racinos put out the warning that they would have to lay off 5,000 people, individuals who had been furloughed since March, if they are not allowed to reopen by September’s end.

This layoff is due to the window of furlough which is six months long. The rallies have been generated by the employees to try and put pressure on officials to get them back to work. The employees are not sponsored by unions and simply want to be able to work and earn a living.

The employees behind the rally’s have pointed out that players who would normally visit the commercial casinos are now traveling to tribal venues. These casinos are not seeing an outbreak of the pandemic and do follow safety procedures, though they are not at the mercy of local government.


Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.