New York Casinos Face Reopening Setback


On Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that casino would not reopen in “Phase IV” of the state reopening. New York casinos have been closed since mid-March due to COVID-19.

Resorts World Catskills casino in Hudson Valley announced one positive test on Monday. Less than one percent of the tests statewide resulted in positive results, and only nine new deaths were reported. Casinos, along with theaters, gyms, and malls were scrapped from the reopening plan.

In Phase IV for New Yorkers, higher education is apart of the reopening plan along with “low risk” indoor and outdoor arts and entertainment, media production, and professional sports with no fans.

New York vs. New Jersey

New York and New Jersey have different plans when it comes to reopening state casinos. Last week, Atlantic City was open for business. However, the state did not allow dining, food, or beverages to be sold. Also, Atlantic City was to be capped at 25 percent capacity and mandatory mask-wearing by patrons.

Cuomo said in March that New York and New Jersey would reopen together as both states dealt with the highest rate of COVID infections in the U.S. Now, New Jersey decided to open their doors while New York keeps them closed.

This causes a big issue for New York as a lot of people in New York City head to Atlantic City to gamble and place bets on sports. Now, the reopening of casinos will not stop some New Yorkers from crossing into the state to gamble.

Also, the reopening of Atlantic City will hurt New York casinos even more. New Jersey allows online gambling, where New York doesn’t. This limits New York casinos from bringing in revenue, and New Yorkers from having a night out gambling. If New Jersey reopens casinos and sportsbooks, and New York remains closed, then this will become a bigger issue for commercial casinos in upstate New York.

Those casinos are already hurting, and the fact that they will remain closed in Phase IV hurts them even more. New Jersey brought in $165.9 in online casino revenue in April and May this month, with $12.5 million coming from sports betting.

Online gambling in New Jersey is a visible sign that New Yorkers will take advantage of it. New York needs to re-look at their mobile gaming laws to see how online gambling will help the state in the long run.

Indian vs Commercial Casinos

Commercial casinos are getting hurt even in their state by the reopening phases. Indian casinos have slowly been opening over the last few weeks. They can do so because tribal casinos are not bound to Governor Cuomo’s reopening laws.

Unfortunately for commercial casinos, they have to follow Cuomo’s reopening guidelines. That means Upstate New York’s del Lago Resort & Casino, Resorts World Casino Catskills, Tioga Downs, and Rivers Casino & Resort are still waiting. Also, the gaming floors at racinos across the state.

New York’s commercial casinos continued to be crippled by the COVID-19 outbreak that rocked them Empire State. Now, they have to wait even longer while tribal casinos and Atlantic City can reopen. Both locations will be able to bring in customers on a limited basis, and help recoup from closing in mid-March.

Overall, commercial casinos take another blow in the reopening process. Also, the effect of keeping casinos closed will be felt by the state as New York suffers a multi-billion deficit due to the pandemic. Right now, there aren’t many things casinos can do other than wait out this phase so that they can reopen in “Phase V.” There’s no telling when that will happen, but hopefully, for casinos, it is sooner than later.