Back in business
The commercial casinos in the state of New York can reopen on September 9 after being shut down since March 16 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the reopening plan on Thursday; he said four days earlier that a decision would be made this week.
table games have not been approved
As part of the reopening plan, casinos will only be able to operate at 25% capacity, with masks being mandatory and strict social distancing in place. Table games have not been approved by the authorities yet – the casinos can request approval once there have been physical barriers erected to separate the players from one another and from the dealer.
Extensive health and safety measures must be implemented, such as the casinos’ air filtration systems needing to meet certain requirements. Casinos are now trying to put these protocols in place so that they can reopen safely and as close to the September 9 date as possible.
This reopening measure covers the four full-fledged commercial casinos in the state: Resorts World Catskills, del Lago Resort and Casino, Rivers Casino, and Tioga Downs. It also covers all of the racetrack casinos in the region.
Resorts World New York City at the Aqueduct Racetrack and Resorts World Catskills Casino, operated by Genting, are planning to restart their operations on September 9. Genting vice president of government affairs Meghin Taylor said that all guests will be subject to a temperature screening when they enter the properties.
There will also be at least 200 hand sanitizer areas around Resorts World Catskills and the air filtration system will exceed the standards set out by state authorities.
There has been no announcement yet from the three other commercial casinos in the state about their reopening plans.
Tribal casinos across New York have been open for some months as they do not have to follow orders from the state government because they are located on sovereign land. They did shut down at the height of the pandemic between March and May, however, when New York was hit particularly hard by the virus.
positive test rate has been below 1% for the past three weeks
Governor Cuomo has delayed reopening the commercial casinos despite most other states being back in action for some time. The pandemic situation has improved significantly in New York, as the positive test rate has been below 1% for the past three weeks.