HALFMOON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York state is quickly approaching the one-year mark since the statewide shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. With most businesses having reopened in some capacity, one industry is still wondering why they are behind the eight ball.

Pool halls throughout New York have been closed for nearly 12 months in compliance with the statewide shutdown. But with bills piling up and no guidance for reopening, the owner of Trick Shot Billiards and Sharpshooters Pool Hall is left wondering how much longer he can survive.

“It’s been a long road,” Tim Berlin said. “You know, we thought we were going to be open in phase three or four along with bowling alleys, and we actually prepared both of our locations to open with food and beverage and everything. Just to find out that we weren’t allowed to.”

According to the state, businesses like bowling alleys and gyms are allowed to reopen with reduced capacities and social distancing, but nowhere in the phased reopening plans does it list venues like pool halls.

“Which kind of didn’t make sense to us and hasn’t made sense for the past almost a year,” Berlin said. “I don’t know if we’re just getting overlooked because when you’re comparing it to other businesses there’s really no comparison. We are as equal, and we should be allowed to open.”

Berlin said the restrictions have been particularly baffling because he said, by nature, pool is a distance sport.

“You know, the tables are naturally distant anyways,” he explained. “It’s a sport where you don’t stand next to each other anyways. Generally, one person is sitting down or standing at a distance waiting for the other person to take their shot.”

With safety protocols like staggered table times, increased sanitation stations, and elimination of easily accessible pool sticks, Berlin said he is confident he can reopen in a safe manner and is now just waiting on the green light from the state.

“You know, we’re prepared. We’ve been prepared, and we’ve been actively doing it every day with the food and beverage part of it. So it would be good, you know, to get to see the people we haven’t seen in a long time.“