The casinos and gambling facilities in New York State have been slow to reopen as the state was one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The state was the first to begin to see a huge spread of the virus and Governor Andrew Cuomo took strict action to protect the people of the state. After months of being shut down, venues have now been allowed to reopen. Just yesterday, the Yonkers Raceway was back to work, with players lining up to get inside.
Back to Business
Players began lining up early on Monday to get inside the Yonkers Raceway and adjoining Empire City racino before the 10 am opening. Some players have to wait for quite some time to get in as everyone is subject to a temperature check before being allowed inside.
The line just got longer as time went by as players wanted to get back to their normal routine of betting. Players were happy to socially distance as the line moved around the harness racetrack oval. The reopening of the Yonkers Raceway and Empire City racino came almost two weeks after Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino as well as the Resorts World at Aqueduct in Queens reopened.
The Yonkers location is important to the state as it is not even a mile from the northern border of New York City. It is convenient to residents in the Bronx as well as other areas like Manhattan and Rockland counties. Even players from New Jersey come down to enjoy the gaming options offered by the brand.
Like all businesses, the Yonkers Raceway and racino are limited due to the continual effects of the coronavirus. The property an only operated at 25% capacity. They are only allowed to offer a portion of the 5,000 slot machines on site. There are no live dealer games offered. The property will instead provide virtual dealers for games and they will be seen via video screens.
It may seem odd, but the dealers are fun and provide the same action to players, just not in person. All of the dealers seem to be female and there are no males offered as of yet.
Live dealer gaming is considered an option for full-scale casinos and the Empire City Racino is not a fully functional casino. Players in the region have to travel to Atlantic City, Connecticut and Pennsylvania to be able to find live dealer tables.
There are lawmakers who want to see live dealer options at the racinos like Yonkers and Aqueduct. However, it might not even be an option until 2023. At that time, a moratorium on the sites will expire. There are efforts to see the moratorium end sooner, but it is unclear as to if this will actually take place.
It has been suggested that the racinos could pay a $500 million fee to offer live dealer games but experts say this is not the true value of a license.
For now, players can visit the racinos and enjoy slots and virtual table games when in Yonkers.