New York casinos deemed “non-essential” with reopening further delayed

By Iqbal Johal

Casinos in New York have been dealt a blow with the state governor further delaying plans to reopen properties.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said that commercial casinos in New York will remain closed, calling the venues non-essential compared to other business in the state.

The four properties, Del Lago Resort and Casino, Rivers Casino, Tioga Downs Casino Resort and Resorts World Catskills, have been closed since 16 March, as part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

New York has been one of the heaviest hit states during the pandemic, approaching 450,000 positive cases for COVID-19.

Explaining the decision to reopen shopping centres and malls, but not casinos, Cuomo said that people need food, clothes and home goods but “you don’t need a casino to maintain survival.”

He added: “It's an issue of density, the likelihood of compliance and the essential nature of the business.”

However, the majority of the tribal casinos in New York have reopened since casinos in the US have been gradually resuming operations from June.

According to the American Gaming Association (AGA) 843 commercial and tribal casinos are now reopen, with 147 remaining closed.

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