New York Casinos are Back in Business After COVID-19 Shutdown

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.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

New York Will Try Again for Poker Legislation

New York may be looking at a future in which online poker is legalized. Having found a new backer for its cause, the state will now rely on Senator Joseph Addabbo to drive a stake through the heart of the opposition.

New York Takes a Step Closer to Legalized Online Poke

Senator Joseph Addabbo is the new face of hope for online poker in New York. The senator has introduced a new bill by the name of S.00018, a document outlining the future of the legalized industry. In the document, the senator has laid bare multiply provisions that address specific points:

  • Taxation & license application
  • Treatment of the so-called “bad actors” and their affiliates
  • Available licenses

One particular advantage of the S.00018 is that it cites the case of the United States v. DiCristina, which looks into violations of the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA), clearing the defendant of any fault.

In other words, DiCristina’s case establishes the credibility of poker as a “game of skill”, which is exactly what Senate Bill 18 is stating. As a result, Senator Addabbo is going to save himself the trouble of arguing about the nature of the game.

The focus will remain on establishing the legal groundwork so that customers are protected, which is a topic that seems to be easier to garner support for.

Not Everyone Is a Winner

Even though the bill is good news, not everyone is likely to be a winner. The text of the bill specifies that parties that have been complicit with offering online poker services to New York citizens in the past may be classified as “bad actors“. The same applies to any party that has facilitated the activities of these so-called “bad actors”.

Put simply, a bad actor is a card room that has been offering services without proper licensing. The result could be a ban on these brands once (and if) licenses become available.

The Specifics of Online Poke in New York

The bill seems to have been well-written covering all potential questions that may arise from the idea of legalizing online poker. Apart from citing evidence that poker is indeed a game of skill, the bill gives the specifics of the industry itself:

  • Each individual license will cost $10 million
  • Only 11 licenses in total will be available
  • All operators will be taxed at 15% of their gross gaming revenue
  • The first two months of taxation will be included in the license fee

As outlined by the bill, the industry seems to be favourable to consumers and businesses both. However, Mr. Addabbo is facing a tough passage not in the Senate, but in the Assembly.

The Assembly has been the major pitfall sponsors have so far been unable to overcome. In 2018, Clyde Vanel and J. Gary Pretlow promised to back a bill, which foundered, because Mr. Pretlow decided not to seek the votes necessary for the bill to clear.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Caesars and Oneida Indian Nation Partner in New York

  • Caesars and Oneida Indian Nation team up for sports betting in New York
  • New York held a referendum on betting in 2013
  • Senator Joe Addabbo is the man to watch for in 2019

Caesars Entertainment has tied up a successful partnership with Oneida Indian Nation, a tribal operator. This is an important stepping stone for the future development of the sports betting industry, paving the way for co-existence between competitive casino brands and native operators.

Caesars Entertainment and Oneida Indian Nation Develop Sports Betting

Renowned casino operator Caesars Entertainment and Oneida Indian Nation will be working together to introduce sports betting in three casinos across New York. In anticipation of the move, the pair is hoping that the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) and lawmakers will vote in favor of legislation that will bring sports betting to the region. If all goes according to plan, Caesars will be present at three properties, including:

  • Turning Stone Resort Casino
  • Yellow Brick Road Casino
  • Point Place Casino

All casinos are located close to Syracuse, which is one of the most populous cities in the state, allowing themselves a quick access to potentially huge crowds of gamers eager to place legal wagers. Regulation in New York is still being discussed, but the partnership is a clear indication that top brands have enough reasons to believe in the favorable development of the situation.

We are eagerly awaiting the NIGC’s review of this innovative new partnership involving a licensing and branding arrangement – Christian Stuart, Caesars’ VP of Gaming

Christian Stuart has embraced the idea of rolling out the casino’s operations in New York and at the designated locations, predicting a strong growth and expansion of the market in the state.

New York’s attempts to pass a working sports betting bill have been bolstered by Senator John Bonacic who nevertheless failed to see the legislation through. Mr. Bonacic is now also no longer a senator, leaving Senator Joe Addabbo in his stead.

We are eagerly awaiting the National Indian Gaming Commission’s review of this innovative new partnership involving a licensing and branding arrangement. – Stuart

As head of the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, Mr. Addabbo, has also said that he would seek to continue the efforts for the legalization of the sports betting industry in the state. Several commercial casinos have partnered with various iGaming operators who also offer sports betting in anticipation of the potential legalization.

DOJ Could Consider Flip-Flopping on Its 2011 Decision

In 2019, lawmakers will have to come together and make a decision about the future of the state’s betting industry. Despite the strong commitment from operators and companies, and even legislators, there’s still a lot to be desired. New York’s sports bills have been shot one after another, leaving the state in limbo.

However, the state does have four commercial properties that have been offering sports betting since around 2013 when the state’s residents voted during a referendum to legalize the industry. A lot of work needs to be done to see the full-scale launch of sports betting, but all of this is possible in the months to come.

The man at the helm, Mr. Addabbo, is now responsible for spearheading the activity.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.