Wait For It: NY Commercial Casinos To Remain Closed During Phase 4

Written By Drew Ellis on July 2, 2020 - Last Updated on November 30, 2022

Fourth of July weekend celebrations at commercial casinos in New York won’t be happening in 2020.

As the fight against COVID-19 continues, New York moved on to its next phase of its NY Forward Safety Plan for reopening; however, casinos were not included.

Governor scales back plans for New York’s phase four

On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo entered five economic regions into phase four of the state’s reopening process, beginning July 1. Those regions are:

  • Finger Lakes (including Rochester)
  • Mohawk Valley
  • Central New York
  • North County
  • Southern Tier

Capital Region and Western New York entered phase four as well.

Originally, the fourth phase was to be the final stage of reopening, but Cuomo altered those plans.

While some businesses and industries will reopen, businesses like amusement parks, arcades and movie theaters will not be included. Casinos are among the businesses that can’t reopen.

According to the Democrat & Chronicle, Cuomo stated that new findings on how COVID-19 may spread through droplets via air conditioning have caused him to be more cautious at the moment.

“We’re just saying we’ve gotten some new information on how the virus spreads. We’re still studying it. We’ll have a decision after we process all the information.”

New York will have to adjust its reopening plans to determine when commercial casinos can resume business.

Limitations remain for reopened businesses

Even in the shift to phase four, many restrictions are still in place for New York residents and businesses.

Among the notable limitations currently in place are:

  • Social gatherings limited to a maximum of 50 people.
  • Religious services limited to 33% capacity.
  • Face masks are mandatory for all employees and customers where there is person-to-person contact.

Casinos not making the cut in New York

Commercial casinos hoped to be included as part of the reopening, but were surprised by the late adjustment to the plan.

New York casinos have been closed since mid-March. Some political figures disagree with the decisions as to which businesses can open currently. Sen. Sue Serino, of Hyde Park, said in a statement:

“New Yorkers have gone above and beyond to do their part to protect public health. Now, once again, in the dark of night, the state is rewriting the rules and making arbitrary decisions about who can open next and who cannot.”

Options still available for some New Yorkers

While commercial casinos in New York are not open, there are still gambling options available.

Tribal casinos around the state are open, with many implementing expanded safety protocols.

Oneida Nation casinos aren’t allowing patrons who reside outside of a 120-mile radius. Oneida and Seneca Nation properties are requiring masks for guests in close proximity to each other and temperature screenings upon arrival.

Casinos that are open for business are:

Atlantic City has a number of casinos opening up for the holiday weekend, but food and beverage consumption is prohibited.

Despite decline, New York continues to lead in COVID-19 cases

Since COVID-19 hit in the US, New York has been the primary hot spot for the virus.

As of this week, New York is approaching 400,000 confirmed cases of the virus. That’s more than double the total cases of each other state aside from California, which is near 240,000.

According to the New York Times, New York’s death total from the virus is nearing 32,000.

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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis has lived in Michigan his whole life, and has been writing professionally for the last 21 years. Ellis has covered anything from youth baseball in mid-Michigan, a top-25 college football program, and pro sports in the Detroit area. Always keeping busy, Ellis also has over 10 years of experience in covering sports betting, handling all major sports.

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