In Brooklyn, New York, police have arrested a bar owner for offering sports gambling to patrons amid the COVID-19 outbreak. New York has been the hardest-hit state in the U.S. during the crisis, with the state under a strict social distancing mandate.
Over the weekend, police arrived at the Miami II Sport Cafe on Kings Highway after receiving multiple calls about people congregating at the property. When police arrived, they found a dozen people drinking and gambling, clearly in violation of the governor’s executive order.
New York prohibits large gatherings at this time due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The state has over 38,000 confirmed cases and more than 900 deaths have been attributed to the virus. On March 20, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered 100% of the workforce in the state to stay home except for essential services.
authorities received several 311 complaints regarding a gathering at the sports bar
The owner of the Miami II Sport Cafe did not follow this order. On Saturday evening, authorities received several 311 complaints regarding a gathering at the sports bar. Police arrived to find several people gambling and drinking inside despite the venue not having a license to serve alcohol.
The owner of the bar, Vasil Pando, was arrested and charged with violating the city’s executive order. He faces several charges, including selling alcohol illegally, the promotion of gambling, criminal nuisance, and reckless endangerment.
In the United States, many businesses are closing their doors due to the outbreak. As of last week, all casinos in the country were closed to try and stop the spread of the disease. Over 900 casinos had already shuttered, with the remaining facilities following suit on March 25.
Most casinos took part in a voluntary shutdown while others waited for a government mandate. The U.S. now offers few gambling options, except for states that have legalized online gambling, which includes New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
There is no set date for when casinos and other businesses can reopen. In a recent press conference, President Trump announced that Americans should continue to practice social distancing through April 30.