ive months after Resorts World Catskills had to close its doors to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the casino has put in place a series of preventive measures which include plastic dividers to separate dealers and players, and the shutting down of many slot machines to promote social distancing.
The property is looking to be ready for whenever the New York Governor's administration gives the OK.
But as reported by CBS New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is breaking from his fellow leaders in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts when it comes to reopening casinos.
"We have been paying the health insurance for all of our employees that have been furloughed, and our intention is to welcome all of our employees back just as soon as we can reopen the property here in the Catskills," said Meghan Taylor, at Resorts World Catskills.
When we reopen, you’ll find over 200 #sanitizing stations across our property to encourage frequent hand washing and to allow guests to clean common areas before touching.✨ #RWCatskills #SullivanCatskills #RWClean #RWCleanTeam #PlayItSafe #NYForward pic.twitter.com/dlSYDNPxPJ— Resorts World Catskills Casino Resort (@RWCatskills) August 5, 2020
Safety messaging begins outside the billion-dollar building. When you enter, high-tech equipment will see if you have a high temperature. If a forehead scan confirms, you’ll be asked to leave.
“We have to be providing safety for our team members and our guests,” said Darlene Monzo, with Resorts World Catskills.
Plastic dividers will separate dealers and players. Many slot machines will be shut down to promote social distancing. The casino will provide a stylus for anyone who doesn’t want to touch the sanitized buttons.
The extensive safety plan calls for fewer players and frequent sanitizing of dice at the craps table.
Dining and check-in have been redesigned for contactless commerce.
The HVAC system only delivers fresh air, but the casino has added coronavirus-capturing filters anyway.
“I think they’ve gone far and above any other facility out there that I’ve seen, retail or otherwise,” Thompson Town Supervisor Bill Rieber told CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
Rieber says the casino is a key piece of revitalizing the region.
With gambling safely underway in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, Rieber hopes New York is next.
“I really, really think the governor should open his eyes, have some people take a look at it and get this place open as soon as they can,” he said.
There are four casinos open and operating in New York state. They’re on Native American reservations, beyond the reach of the Cuomo administration.
The governor is playing his cards carefully, saying he doesn’t want to gamble with people’s health.
“As we’ve continued to get a better handle and stabilize those COVID-19 numbers and new infection rates here in New York, we do believe we’re in a safe place to reopen,” Taylor said.
Until then, casinos in four neighboring states are cleaning up, collecting gaming revenue from visiting New Yorkers.
Video gaming casinos closer to the city, including Resorts World Queens and Jake’s 58, are also preparing extensive safety measures, hoping to reopen soon.