MGM’s Empire City Will Get Back In The Game On September, 21

Article by : Helen Sep 25, 2020

In light of the recent New York State’s decision to allow casinos to reopen, MGM Resorts has announced that the Empire City racino will open its doors to visitors again on September 21. Some members of MGM rewards system MLife, however, are invited to visit the casino sooner. Like other MGM properties, Empire City has been closed since March 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some restrictions will be put in place, as required by the state’s reopening guidelines and outlined in the company’s seven-step safe reopening plan. All visitors, as well as the personnel, will be obligated to wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking. If a visitor doesn’t have a mask with them, the casino will provide one free of charge.

All visitors will be subject to temperature screening at the entrance to the Empire City. The staff will be screened as well, and receive specific training on preventing COVID-19 spread. Cleaning and sanitizing procedures have been enhanced to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission, with hand sanitizers placed throughout the property and disinfecting devices and surfaces taking place frequently.

In case a visitor tests positive for COVID-19 within 14 days after visiting an MGM property, they are encouraged to contact MGM via a specific email address ([email protected]) to ensure appropriate measures can be taken to mitigate the risks of the virus’ further spread. The casino will be able to operate only within 25% of its usual capacity, as mandated by the New York State authorities. To make sure the visitors maintain the 6-feet physical distance, numerous slot machines have been disabled.

The dining areas will be open with a limited seating capacity as well, with some parts of the ordering and dining process getting digitalized to minimize face-to-face interactions. For instance, menus are now available in a digital form, as well as the waiting lists for tables – visitors will get a text message when a table is ready for them.

As required by the state’s reopening guidelines, the food and beverage service on the casino floor will not be available, and the bars located on the Empire City territory will stay temporarily closed to the public.

Only the entrance on the Yonkers Avenue will be open to visitors, with the other two on the Central Avenue remaining closed. The valet parking and shuttle service will not be available – visitors will have to use the complimentary self-parking. As for the races, they will be resumed; however, spectators won’t be allowed to watch them live. On-property wagering will remain unavailable as well.

It’s been several months since we were forced to close, so it is with strong emotion that we welcome our team members back to work. Health and safety remain our priority, and our commitment to New York has never been stronger

Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and President of MGM Resorts

With the Empire City open, MGM will have only two more properties still closed: Park MGM and Four Seasons in Las Vegas. MGM has reported earlier that Park MGM may be reopened within the next 30-45 days. Empire City is located just 20 miles north of Times Square, close to New York City’s border. It can boast a more than 100-year history, 4,700 slot machines, 5,000+ games, and is easily one of the largest casinos in the northeast of the United States.

The COVID-19 pandemic-related measures have hit MGM’s financial results quite hard. It has already reported a 91% drop in the net revenue in the second quarter of 2020, with a net loss of $857 million over the same period. Besides that, MGM recently had to lay off one-quarter of its U.S. workers – that is, 18,000 people out of its 68,000-workforce employed before the pandemic.


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