New York casinos get the ‘green light’ to open next week

New York casinos get the ‘green light’ to open next weekCars and motorcycles gathered for last year’s annual show at Tioga Downs. The casino, located in Nichols, N.Y., has remained closed since the pandemic began in March. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday that casinos could open up on Sept. 9, with restrictions. (File Photo / Wendy Post)

On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that non-tribal casinos in New York, to include Tioga Downs in Nichols, N.Y., are able to open on Sept. 9, with restrictions.

The state’s casinos are among the last businesses to reopen following months of shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the governor’s guidance, casinos must meet certain air filtration requirements and limit capacity to 25 percent of normal levels. Masks will be required and patrons must follow social distancing guidelines.

The guidelines also outlined that beverage service will not be allowed on the gaming floor, and casinos are being advised to bring in additional staff to monitor player traffic and compliance with reopening rules.

Casinos will also have to ensure players at slots and other gaming machines remain 6-feet apart unless approved barriers are placed between them.

On Thursday we spoke with Charlie Ott, general manager at Tioga Downs, and he will be reaching out with more details on when the Nichols, N.Y. facility will officially reopen, and in accordance with the governor’s outline.

The governor’s announcement falls on the heels of a rally by casino employees that took place Thursday morning in Seneca County. A gathering also took place at Tioga Downs at the end of last month to rally the governor to take action.

Like all nonessential businesses in New York, casinos like Tioga Downs closed in March to help slow the spread of the pandemic.


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