Billiard halls still awaiting state reopening guidance

New York News
Smokey pool hall. (cottonbro / Pexels)

Smokey pool hall. (cottonbro / Pexels)

HALFMOON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Billiard halls are now able to open statewide. In mid-January, the state Supreme Court granted a preliminary injunction allowing 16 pool halls across to reopen following phase four rules for indoor entertainment.

Pool halls were not included in initial reopening guidance over the summer and fall when other indoor entertainment venues were cleared. “The court’s preliminary ruling means that billiard halls could operate much like bowling alleys or casinos, which are presently functioning at 50% capacity in accordance with state requirements,” Jordan said in a letter to Cuomo. “Preliminary injunction relief bodes well for the 16 billiard halls that brought this legal action.”

Still, that January injunction only applied to those 16 pool halls. On Sunday, however, Gov. Andrew Cuomo included poll halls in an executive order that set their closing times at 11 p.m. As of Monday, Empire State Development Corporation has also confirmed that billiard halls statewide can reopen. Even so, State Sen. Daphne Jordan, who has advocated for reopening pool halls for months, wants the state to develop a plan for reopening them safely and immediately statewide.

Of those 16 billiard halls, only a small portion—like Trick Shot Billiards and Sharpshooters Pool Hall near the Capital—are upstate. Still, Sen. Jordan says they are awaiting rules that apply specifically to their establishments. She has said that, although billiard halls have been closed since March 16, they’ve prioritized sanitation with an eye toward reopening. Many assign customers their own sanitized billiard balls, cue sticks, and pool tables.

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