ew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that there is still no date for when casinos and movie theaters will be allowed to reopen as the state reviews how they can safely do so.
Although originally thought to be included in phase four of New York State's reopening plan, casinos and movie theaters will remain closed as the number of Covid-19 cases spikes in places around the country.
Recent test results indicate New York has made significant progress in suppressing the spread of the coronavirus, the Albany Business Review reports. That is why the state is taking a measured approach even as casinos have started to reopen in other parts of the country.
Atlantic City, New Jersey, opened its casinos over the weekend, and temperature checks, face masks, capacity limits and no smoking have become the norm.
Cuomo's plan has been to reopen the state by region and by industry — revising along the way. The uncertainty has become a big problem for businesses looking to plan ahead.
In Schenectady, Rivers Casino and Resort has been closed since March 16. The casino was forced to furlough most of its staff and substantially cut the salaries of those who remained. Rivers is the largest tourist attraction in the Capital Region and brought in more than 2 million visitors in 2019. The casino has said that it is working on a comprehensive reopening plan that addresses crowd management, cleanliness, monitoring, isolation, and social distancing once the casino is allowed to reopen.
The pandemic shutdowns have been devastating for small businesses and for workers. More than 2.5 million people in New York have filed an initial claim for unemployment since mid-March. And the unemployment rate for the Capital Region was 9.6% in May 2020, up from 3.3% in May 2019.