New York State Inspectors Express Concern About Tribal Casinos’ Pandemic Safe Level

Article by : Eva Reed Aug 17, 2020

It’s no secret that lately New York’s Native American casinos have shown an excellent recovery rate and are attracting more customers. Despite the difficult situation with the coronavirus, the casinos continue to function and, at the same time, observe the maximum security levels for staff and visitors.

At this stage, the government does not prohibit New York’s Native American casinos from opening their doors to guests. However, government inspectors are concerned that the bulk of commercial operators remain closed while some entertainment venues continue to operate.

According to information published by Auburn Citizen (the only daily newspaper published in Auburn), the New York Gaming Commission has sent representatives to check the tribal casinos. These steps aim to verify the level of provision and compliance with all necessary regulations to protect visitors and employees from Covid-19. Moreover, according to the information of the sources on the side of the newspaper, similar inspections were already carried out in June. These are gambling establishments owned by the Oneida and Seneca nations.

It is worth noting that gambling operators took care of themselves to develop all the necessary health and safety rules and regulations before reopening their doors. Nevertheless, government inspectors express concern that not every client meets the essential requirements when visiting a casino.

Civil Service Employees Association officials say casino visitors should be more secure and must wear safety masks. The same goes for mandatory social distancing and temperature checks for guests and casino employees during the pandemic.

One of the main problems for state inspectors is that casinos relaunched too early amid cases of coronavirus infection.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has previously announced that the opening of four commercial casinos should be postponed shortly. Earlier, the governor also stated that the shutdown of the casinos wouldn’t affect the state’s economy. Therefore, their restart should be delayed.

The overall situation with the number of infections in New York State looks very optimistic. The state is currently showing fewer than 800 illnesses per day in the past week. After the casinos reopened their doors to their clients, it would be better if they would be under some control by the relevant authorities.

It is worth reminding that the first gambling law for the state of New York was passed in 1656. At that moment, the territory was under the complete control of the Netherlands. Moreover, gambling was allowed on all days except Saturday. After gaining independence, the state authorities began to develop such a direction as the lottery actively.

The first Indian casino in New York State appeared in 1993 after the corresponding constitutional amendment was passed. Meanwhile, the activities of commercial casinos were allowed by the state authorities only in 2012.

It should be emphasized that the legal age for players in New York State is 18 or more. However, some land-based casinos still restrict visitors that aren’t 21+.

Currently, the state of Nevada has restored the activities of almost all gambling establishments on its territory. In this case, the authorities had to take a completely different approach. This is nothing less than Senate Bill 4. It provides a clear list of measures to ensure the protection of employees and visitors to the casino and the protection of gambling establishments from legal proceedings.

Such measures received 100% support from the Culinary Union, which considers such a step one of the most effective means capable of ensuring the safety of personnel. We can only hope that the situation will change for the better shortly.

Eva Reed

Chief Editor

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