New York Casinos Could Reopen Soon
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to give a positive update regarding the casino industry later this week. Since mid-March, casinos have remained close due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but that could change in the next month.
The New York Gaming Association has been pressuring Cuomo to reopen its properties, but the Democratic Governor has yet to allow that to happen. Some nonessential businesses have been allowed to reopen in New York, but Cuomo has never discussed casinos in any of these announcements.
According to the New York Gaming Association, Cuomo has not yet given them a set date of when they will be allowed to reopen the properties, but they expect an announcement this week. Strict health and safety protocols will likely be in effect when they are allowed to reopen, and the casinos will be forced to limit the number of guests.
The new fiscal year began on April 1, and the casino industry’s shutdown has produced a considerable budget deficit in New York. New York has seen a shortfall of more than $600 million as it has not generated any tax revenue from the industry.
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New York has a budget deficit of more than $14.5 billion overall, and they are hoping to receive some federal aid to cover their losses. As New York continues to fall deeper into the hole, Cuomo hopes that allowing casinos to reopen will turn things around.
Casino Employees Ready to Work
Casino employees in the state are ready to get back to work, and they have held numerous rallies over the past few weeks. More than 50 protesters rallied at the Capitol building on August 20, and similar events took place throughout the state.
Supporters of casinos reopening have also started a petition on Change.org, and they have gathered close to 4,000 signatures. This pressure has begun to get Cuomo’s attention, and it could be another reason that he is considering reopening the industry.
The New York Gaming Association estimates that more than 10,000 full-time employees work in the casino industry. It’s unclear how many of these workers would come back to work immediately once casinos can reopen their doors.
New York will be looking at various plans that other states have used to reopen their gaming properties. The casino workers will all have to be trained to learn new health and safety protocols.
State Posting Low COVID-19 Numbers
The coronavirus struck both New York and New Jersey in March, and the virus spread quickly. Both states were forced to take extreme measures to slow the spread, and the results have been terrific.
Governor Cuomo announced this weekend that the infection rate in New York has been below 1 percent for more than three straight weeks. As of Sunday, there were just 429 people hospitalized for COVID-19, which is the lowest total since March 16.
Cuomo praised New York residents for following health and safety protocols and stopping the quick spread of the disease. Even though the numbers are now looking good in New York, the state has still seen more than 30,000 deaths since the pandemic began.
New Jersey is also reporting similar low numbers, but they did see a spike in cases when they reopened their casino and tourism industry. Cuomo will be quick to shut things down once again if New York sees another spike in positive cases.