New York Commercial Casinos Cleared For Limited Sept 9 Reopening

Commercial casinos in New York will be able to reopen on September 9, ending a nearly six-month closure because of COVID-19.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported on Thursday that remark made earlier this week, that the four commercial casinos of the state and 11 racetrack-based ‘racinos’ will receive some ‘positive news’ about their operations. Since mid-March, casinos such as MGM Resorts’ Empire City and Genting’s Resorts World Catskills (pictured) have been closed as the state grappled with the most serious pandemic outbreak in the region.

Although the casinos will be allowed to reopen next Wednesday, they will face severe restrictions on their operations, including a limit of 25 percent of their usual capacity (less than some states, higher than others). In addition, casinos will need to mount “enhanced ventilation” systems with MERV 13 filtres.

Table games will only be permitted if casinos create physical barriers between players, and such barriers must be approved by state regulators before table play is permitted. Slot machines are all right, so that there are six feet of space separating individual players who must still wear masks.

Alcohol service on the gaming floor won’t be permitted and casinos in the New York City area won’t be able to reopen their restaurants, based on the city’s current ban on indoor dining.

The state’s tribal gaming owners, who are not subject to the state’s regulatory orders as sovereign bodies, started reopening their casinos in June. The commercial casinos cried foul and openly pressured Cuomo to allow them to reopen to save an estimated 5k jobs, but until now the governor has proved reluctant to bend.

New York has approved land-based sports betting at its upstate casinos, and Gov. Cuomo has offered Wednesday to wager any amount that President Donald Trump will not win in November’s presidential election in New York state. Cuomo, who has sparred publicly with Trump about who is to blame for the pandemic situation in New York, called Trump’s pandemic response “an abysmal failure” and challenged him to “put your money where your mouth is.”

Trump replied with an usually garbled syntax on Thursday, tweeting that “Governors [sic] Andrew Cuomo of New York has the worst record of death and China Virus.” Trump refused to mention that ‘Presidents’ Trump has the worst record of any national leader about the respective pandemic deaths in their nations, which in the US currently stands at just under 186,000, about 50 percent higher than that in the national leaders.