NY Governor Prefers Sitting On The Fence As Casinos Remain Closed

Image by Sabrina Tosato
Article by : Helen Sep 8, 2020

It appears that New York remains one of the few US states that still has not given official permission to restart land-based casinos. It remains unclear why the state governor, who has had ample time to develop detailed plans to relaunch the gambling business, remains silent. This uncertainty and secrecy about future plans could lead Big Apple to witness record-high business downtime due to Covid-19. It is still unclear why the state leadership is silent since, according to official figures, the infection rate is no more than 1%.

Disappointed and angry employees of gambling establishments decided to visit the Governor’s office and express their indignation in early August. They later repeated their visit. However, the Governor remains silent, citing that his office is still looking for a solution.

The constant downtime has a very negative impact not only on land-based casinos, which are among the largest taxpayers. It also affected cinemas, restaurants, and other entertainment venues. NY Governor told reporters that the current situation with new Covid-19 cases is volatile. The government needs some time to make the right decisions. Cuomo also added that the state is carefully working on a timetable for opening businesses that have been closed due to coronavirus.

Still, some of the businesses managed to open their doors after extended downtime. Gyms and fitness centers, as well as other public facilities, were able to resume their work. However, the question is that New York State’s budget is approaching a tax evasion tipping point. The protracted closure of many businesses could lead to the state budget witnessing a huge budget hole. The Governor insists that gambling houses are not at all a strategic industry that can radically affect the improvement of the situation. It is unlikely that thousands of employees for whom closed casinos were and remain the only workplace place will agree with this.

The difficult financial situation of many businesses is not on the agenda for the Governor. The state’s head repeatedly warns the public about the high risk of infection with Covid-19 due to the upcoming autumn season. Cuomo notes that: “New Yorkers must be aware that Covid-19 poses a real threat to the health of everyone. Wearing masks, social distancing, and hand hygiene should be top priority measures to help fight the coronavirus.”

The lack of a clear plan to restart the gambling establishments has led people to resume demonstrations again to bring about any change. Gambling officials also support the protesters, as the closed business is not conducive to the recovery of people in the workplace. One of the casino operators, namely Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady, fully supported the protesters and said that it was ready to resume its work as soon as the state gave official permission.

Rivers Casino has previously reported that it has yet developed a clear plan to restart the business. This plan includes all security measures for visitors and employees of the gambling establishment.

However, even if casinos can relaunch their business shortly, they will face a challenging period. Recovery of financial indicators will obviously take more than one month. Operators will also meet some difficulties with the onset of winter. Seasonality is a significant factor that can deter customers from visiting a casino. We can only hope that the Governor will come up with a clear plan for long-term business recovery and support for the economy of the state, which is experiencing the Covid-19.


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