Oneida Nation Safety Plan Bans Smoking, Mandates Masks

  • All properties require mask wearing and have banned smoking on the gaming floor
  • Guests from some states will not be allowed entry because of rising COVID-19 cases
  • Restaurants will operate at 50% capacity and temperature checks are conducted on all employees
  • Commercial casinos remain closed in New York
The phrase "SAFETY PROCEDURES" written on a notepad
Oneida Nation has instituted a smoking ban and mask mandate in its safety plan changes for its New York casinos. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Tribal operator updates safety plan

Oneida Nation Enterprises has updated its health and safety plan for its three New York state gaming venues to increase the safety of employees and guests. Most notably, the changes include banning smoking on the casino floor. The tribal operator also requires masks for all visitors and employees of its gaming properties.

made the changes to align its efforts with those of the state

The Oneida Nation made the changes to align its efforts with those of the state to slow the spread of COVID-19. The updates apply to all Oneida Indian Nation properties including YBR Casino & Sports Book, Turning Stone Resort Casino, and Point Place Casino.

Not everyone is welcome

As of July 10, Turning Stone will require everyone on-site to wear a face covering on the gaming floor. This includes the Bingo Hall and Casino Blu. Smoking on the casino floor is banned temporarily, based on new public health recommendations and to ensure consistent face mask use.

Along with these limitations, Oneida Nation Enterprises has also decided to limit property access to guests traveling from certain states. This change falls in line with the state’s efforts to limit community spread of COVID-19.

States on the list include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Kansas, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Texas, and Tennessee.

The casinos will continue to screen every guest as they enter the facility and will not allow people from any of the states listed above inside.

Additional protocols and safety practices

While changes have been made to the Oneida Nation safety plan, many elements remain in place. Restaurants will still limit capacity to 50%. Nightclubs will remain closed. Procedures for enhanced sanitization and cleanliness will continue, including a higher HVAC changeover level which exceeds the commercial code standards.

Employees who work in direct contact with guests must wear gloves and will continue to be subject to contactless temperature checks. The casino also asks employees brief questions to review any potential exposure to COVID-19.

Commercial casinos remain closed

The Oneida Nation revealed its updated health and safety plans at a time when the commercial casinos in New York State remain closed. Earlier this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that casinos are not going to open just yet. Originally, the casinos would have reopened during Phase Four of the state’s reopening plan, but as COVID-19 cases increased in other states, the plans changed.

The casinos operated by the Oneida Nation reopened about a month ago. The tribal operator can offer services despite any state mandates because it is a sovereign entity.