September 25, 2020
What You Need To Know Before Visiting
Great news for all gambling lovers living in New York – Governor Cuomo has announced that New York casinos are officially reopening! It’s the first time they are welcoming visitors since the beginning of the lockdown in March. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of being in public places unless absolutely necessary, no problem. Online casinos for players from the US are still a great option, just like they have been for the past six months. But if you’re thrilled to finally enjoy the real-life casino experience again, your time has come.
By the way, it’s not like casinos are allowed to ignore safety regulations, so you don’t need to worry too much – just be aware of the restrictions you’ll have to respect if you choose to go.
Which Casinos Are Reopening?
Presumably, all land-based casinos will reopen sooner rather than later, but for now, here’s the list of those of them you can visit right now.
In Upstate New York, casinos and racinos reopened on September 9, a little earlier than some of their competitors in other parts of the state.
Del Lago Resort & Casino
Rivers Casino & Resort
Tioga Downs Casino Resort
Resorts World Catskills
In case you’re up for some racino fun, most racinos, including gambler-favorite Vernon Downs Casino Hotel and Batavia Downs Gaming, have reopened as well.
For sports betting, check out del Lago’s DraftKings Sportsbook.
Other land-based casinos are also reopening too, so if you haven’t found your favorites on this list, don’t fall in despair. Check their websites – chances are they’ll soon be welcoming visitors.
Are There Any Restrictions?
The COVID-19 pandemic is nowhere near over, so sure thing there are.
First, all casinos are required to limit the number of visitors to 25% of their maximum occupancy so that the social distancing rules are followed. This ensures that there’s enough room for you to have fun without being afraid to spread the virus.
The minimum allowed space between visitors (who haven’t come together) is six feet. All active slot machines are standing six feet apart; the same goes for table games.
All casinos are required to have protective physical barriers (transparent screens) between the dealer and players. This was news for several casinos when the Governor lifted the ban, which is why the reopening dates for some of them are later than others. Player and employee safety comes first.
Casinos have temperature screenings at the entrance. Don’t be surprised if your excitement-caused fever will end the game night for you before it even starts.
Dining in casino restaurants is allowed, yet with the restrictions specific to the area. In addition to the universal rule “six feet between tables,” New York City bans indoor eating altogether.
Obviously, you have to wear a protective mask everywhere. You’ll only get to take it off to have your age verified at the entrance or to have a cocktail and a meal in the dining area.
Last but not least, casinos have to follow the Gambling Commission’s guidelines that state: “Wherever possible, games must be reconfigured to minimize the number of times that patrons must touch cards (e.g., by using “face-up” dealing in blackjack), and must never permit patrons to touch another patron’s cards.” Dealers are wearing masks and protective gloves at all times.
Is It Safe To Visit A Land-Based Casino Now?
As you can probably see from the list of restrictions imposed on casinos, you have little to worry about, at least not more than in any other public or semi-public place. To compare, the maximum allowed occupancy for malls is 50%, twice as much as for casinos. Sure, online casinos are always a safer option, but you’re highly unlikely to catch coronavirus in land-based ones either.
It looks like half of the slot machines are open and they're earning under twice as much per machine as before. Tables are still closed. The four casinos listed above are on track to earn as much as they did in the month of March, maybe less, record low earnings. Table games make up about a quarter of their regular profit (depending on the ratio of tables to slot machines). Poker is still shutdown. DraftKings is open.
I got a call yesterday from someone who said he was my new host at Resort Worlds Catskills. Said table games are open, roulette just opened, and they hope craps will be open in the next week or so.
You have to dig, deep, into their website to see that craps is still closed. It used to be craps AND roulette. Roulette is open, but there was no announcement as such.
And that’s kinda weird. Casinos often post on FB / Twitter with announcements that say nothing, but roulette opening wasn’t announced at all.
The COVID section of their website still says that craps and the poker room as still not open.Quote: unJon
Was just notified that craps is open again at Resort World Catskills.
The COVID section of their website still says that craps and the poker room as still not open.
Maybe not updated yet. Was a casino host that texted me to say it opened today.