State-approved casinos can reopen September 9

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Thursday morning, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that state-approved casinos would be able to open on Wednesday, September 9 at 25% occupancy.

In order to open, those state-approved casinos would have to have advanced air filtration systems with MERV-13 air filters, just like malls needed before they could open. Cuomo also said that there will not be table games, and there will be no beverage service on the gaming floor.

New Yorkers have done an extraordinary job – we flattened the curve in a way that no expert thought was possible,” Governor Cuomo said“We’ve made the determination that we can safely reopen casinos with enhanced air filtration and strict safety protocols including mandatory masks and social distancing. This is good news and the right next step in our data-driven, phased reopening which is working.”

Of course, social distancing will need to be followed, and a face covering must be worn at the locations.

The State Gaming Commission is the enforcement agency that will continue monitoring casinos. State police would also provide assistance, and the 25% capacity limit would be monitored at the door.

Budget Director Robert F. Mujica added that table games could be permitted with physical barriers between players, pending approval from the Gaming Commission. None are in place in casinos statewide. Players at slot machines also must maintain six feet of distance, again, unless barriers are installed.

Rivers Casino & Resort released the following statement following Governor Cuomo’s announcement:

The Rivers team has been working hand-in-hand with the state to make all the changes necessary to reopen and we will meet, or exceed, all requirements to provide a safe and healthy entertainment environment,” said Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady General Manager, Justin Moore.  “The health and well-being of our Team Members, guests and the community is our highest priority. We’re eagerly looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Rivers.”


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