NYS Casinos Closed while 5,200 Staff Members Struggle

New York State is still evaluating the situation when it comes to the gradual reopening of businesses across the state. For the time being, commercial casinos across the state remain closed, but more than 5,200 individuals directly linked to the field want to see this change. They addressed the issue of casino venues remaining closed.

New York State’s government has not greenlighted commercial casinos as of yet, stating that the businesses are considered non-essential and they should remain closed. In a recent statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo pointed out that casino venues are not considered an essential business and they will have to remain closed for the time being. A reopening date has not been pinpointed.

Commercial Casinos Closed

Commercial casinos have remained closed for the past more than four months, ever since mid-March when they had to close in order to respect physical distancing recommendations. More than 5,000 individuals working at the four commercial casino venues, as well as the racinos sprinkled across the state, want to see a change take place in the upcoming weeks.

They want to return to work and to be able to rely on their wages. The uncertainty that has veiled the gaming field of New York State has taken its toll on the people calling these commercial casino locations their place of work. They work at del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County, Resorts World Catskills, Rivers Casino in Schenectady, and Tioga Downs Casino Resort.

Gov. Cuomo made it clear that for the time being, commercial casinos will have to remain closed as they are not considered an essential business. However, casino staff members beg to differ. Valerie McIntyre, Table Games Supervisor at del Lago, recently spoke on the subject seeking some change. She was joined by individuals representing Tioga Downs Casino Resort and Vernon Downs.


Greg Mallette, Cage Operations Manager and Assistant Hotel Manager for Vernon Downs, and Robin Torr, Hotel Front Desk Manager at Tioga Downs Casino Resort also had something to say on the subject. Ms. McIntyre pointed out that her employment at the casino venues was the thing that impacted her life the most and it is the reason why she is here today. It saved her life when she had no hope.

Ms. Torr also has many years of experience in the in-person gaming field, as she was eager to explore the hospitality field of New York. This passion spans over fifteen years of work in the field. Now she is deprived of the chance to work in the field. In the meantime, Mr. Mallette has had a decade under his belt at Vernon Downs and he has seen a lot over these years.

His residence in Mohawk Valley does not really give him many alternative job opportunities if he has to quit his current place of work. Right now, casino employees do not receive any benefits, as the end of July saw the end of the negotiated agreement, which has not been extended. Up until that point, they bagged some US$600 per each week of being furloughed.

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Yolina has followed closely the latest development on the Canadian gaming scene over the past years, monitoring the land-based, lottery, and online offerings up for grabs. The dynamic nature of the local lottery and casino fields, as well as the opportunities lying ahead of Canada fire her enthusiasm for what is to come. A sports betting enthusiast, in her spare time Yolina could be found in her natural habitat – turning the pages of biographies and catching up on the latest stand-up comedy podcasts.