Lockdown Drags On for N.Y. Casinos, Racinos
New York’s commercial gaming industry has been shuttered for more than three months and will remain so after it was excluded from the state’s latest round of statewide reopenings. There’s been no word from Governor Andrew Cuomo (l.) on when the shutdown will end.
New York’s commercially owned casinos and racinos were hoping for good news from the state about when they can reopen. Last week, those hopes were dashed.
Shuttered since mid-March, the four full-scale casinos, located in the Catskills, Schenectady, the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier𑁋and the eight racinos, whose operations stretch from Queens to the Great Lakes, expected to be part of the fourth and final stage of carefully measured reopening of the New York economy, especially since the Cuomo administration’s efforts to tamp down the spread of the Covid virus have been largely successful.
But deemed by the administration to be “high risk,” they’ve been excluded from the Phase IV reopenings, as have movie theaters, gyms and shopping malls.
The caution stems from the fact that metropolitan New York City was the hardest-hit area in the U.S. during the first wave of the pandemic this spring, and the administration isn’t forgetting how close the state had come to a medical catastrophe. At its worst, more than 100 residents were dying a day. Last week, nine deaths were reported statewide, and the rate of new infections had dropped below 1 percent.
Elsewhere, however, the virus continues its potentially deadly march, especially in states that opened early and aggressively with few safety guidelines in place.
New infections have been on a steep rise in 42 of 50 states, with Florida, Texas and Arizona among those seeing record numbers of new cases.
In response, last week, New York extended mandatory 14-day self-quarantining to visitors from 19 states.
“The numbers show we are right where we want to be, but what’s happening around the country is a cold reminder that we need to continue being cautious and smart and disciplined,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “No one wants to go back to the hell that we went through.”