Starting this week, New York casinos are back in business after a shutdown that lasted for months. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a decree on March 16 that made all commercial casinos in the state close down.
However, starting September 9, New York casinos are letting the players in once again. In addition to commercial casinos, the Empire State has also seen racinos getting back to business. Cuomo’s decision to let the gambling establishments reopen comes some three months after New York tribal casinos decided the same.
Four Commercial NY Casinos Reopen Their Doors to Public
Tribal casinos do not have to follow the guidelines of individual US states when it comes to casino gambling. This is the reason why some of them have reopened long before the New York Governor gave commercial casinos the heads up.
Some of the Indian casinos located within the state borders have been back in the casino game since June. Non-tribal casinos in New York, however, had to wait until September 9 to get back to work.
At the moment of writing, all four commercial casinos in New York are back in business. Those casinos are, namely, the following establishments:
- Del Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre
- Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino in Islandia
- Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady
- World Catskills Resort in Monticello
Even though they’re back in business, the business is not going to be as usual for these casinos. The same as their tribal-owned counterparts, NY commercial casinos will also have to take some measures in order to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
Anti-COVID-19 Measures in New York Casinos
Governor Cuomo’s directive allows commercial casinos to reopen, albeit at limited capacity. The number of patrons allowed inside the casinos needs to be no more than one-quarter of the full capacity, which was also the case over in New Jersey when Atlantic City casinos reopened in July.
The role of the casino staff is to make sure the number of visitors does not go over. Another role of the casino employees is to ensure everything present in the casinos wears a face mask. They also need to make sure that social distancing guidelines are respected by the patrons.
All the commercial casinos that have returned to business had to install new air-filtration systems, as well as physical barriers between players’ seats in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.
New York Gaming Commission to Monitor the Situation
As per the Governor’s instructions, the duty of the New York Gaming Commission is to monitor the situation. Together with the New York State Police, they are obliged to do regular check-ups on the casinos in order to confirm all the anti-COVID-19 measures are carried out properly.
If they spot rule-breaking, they have the right to fine the casino. And if the situation goes out of hand, Cuomo has the right to reverse his decision at any given moment. That said, it’s in the interest of both the casino management and the patrons to respect the newly-set guidelines.