fter reopening with a 25-percent capacity limit and other restrictions on Wednesday, Resorts World Catskills reopened 30 of its 150 table games, after initially being closed while the casino’s operators sought the New York Gaming Commission’s approval for a table games safety plan.
A casino spokesman told Times Herald-Record that the state Gaming Commission has closed roulette and craps games, and there is not yet a reopening date. Regular poker also remains closed, though the spokesman said it will likely begin in a few weeks, and the casino will keep patrons updated so they know an exact date.
Casino visitors can now play blackjack, baccarat, three-card poker, Let it Ride, Caribbean Stud, Ultimate Texas Hold ’em, Casino War, Pai Gow with tiles, Pai Gow poker, Crazy 4 poker and Mississippi Stud.
To staff the table games and the 700 (of 1,600) slot machines now back online, the casino is bringing back 700 of its 1,400 employees. Workers who test positive for the coronavirus will be required to immediately notify state and local health departments, cooperate with contact tracing efforts, including notifying potential contacts. They’ll also have to provide proof to the casino that they sought and received a quarantine order from their local health department.
— Resorts World Catskills Casino Resort (@RWCatskills) September 9, 2020
Moreover, the casino’s sister property Monticello Raceway will reopen for harness racing as soon as Monday, said Joe Faraldo, an attorney for the Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association, as reported by Times Herald-Record. He contends Empire Resorts, the casino’s parent, has kept Monticello’s track closed, despite all of New York’s other harness and horse racing tracks being allowed to open since June, as leverage while casino leaders tried to renegotiate the horsemen’s contract.
The contract has four years left on it, Faraldo said. Plus, Resorts World Catskills agreed to fund the horse track, split earnings with the horsemen and preserve racing, as a major condition for receiving a state operating license before opening in 2018. But Faraldo said that the horsemen reached an agreement in principle on Wednesday to amend the contract because of how hard the casino has been hit by the pandemic. He said the contract will likely be signed by the end of next week, and then he can disclose its new terms. All of the lost racing days will be made up gradually in the coming years, he indicated.
More NY casino reopenings
Casinos all over New York State have finally been given the green light to reopen this week. One of them is Rivers Casino Schenectady, where nearly a thousand people attended on Wednesday to place their sports bets for the first time since March, one day before the NFL season kick-off, WRGB reports. That is around 22 percent of its normal capacity of around 4,300 people.
While it’s an exciting time for, There will be some changes for bettors this year at the Rivers Sportsbook. Sportsbook manager Hal Waffer said: “Right now in the Sportsbook where we usually have a lot of robust yelling…lacking for a while until we get the seating.”
The casino is only allowing guests to use the electronic gambling machines. They are either spaced apart or they’ll have these barriers in between each person.
Furthermore, Tioga Downs Casino Resort reopened with 350 active slot machines in the casino, operating at 25 percent capacity, and without table games such as poker and blackjack.
Director of Marketing Jim Weed said: “A lot of them (the customers) have been waiting for months to come back, and we are excited to be able to get that under our feet and be able to move forward. It’s one step closer to trying to beat this thing. I think everybody, as long as we maintain all those safety measures, then I think we’ll get there.”
Visitors are required to stop at a checkpoint to have their temperature checked and sanitize their hands. The facility has installed a new air filtration system, which Weed calls hospital quality. The hotel is scheduled to reopen today.