NYC Casinos Struggle As Tribal Venues Thrive

By Ben Hamill - July 10 2020

NYC Casinos Struggle As Tribal Venues Thrive

Commercial New York casinos appear to be falling further and further behind their tribal casino counterparts. And it’s a situation now made all the worse by NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision that the hotel venues at both Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs must be closed so as to avoid a further worsening of the global health crisis situation.

Not only are the venues being advised against reopening their hotels, but they have also not yet received the green light to reopen their gaming floors to guests and customers. Tribal casinos however, being a sovereign law unto their own, have been welcoming customers through their own doors for quite some time, thereby enjoying a major advantage over their commercial colleagues in the industry.

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More Problems On The Horizon

What was supposed to have been a time of immense relief starting on June 26 has now turned into even more of a financial nightmare as the two venues were advised to close their hotels after having received the go-ahead to welcome and accommodate overnight guests through their doors.

The idea was that hotel accommodation would be in place by the time customers made their way back to the respective casino venues. But since keeping the hotels and restaurants open is now considered risky business, the operators of the accompanying casinos will have to not only make decisions potentially damaging to business, but will also have to make do without regular casino income until such time as what local government considers it safe for the venues to allow players onto their floors. 

Mapping The Safest Way Forward

The state itself is of course embattled in its own struggle with the global health crisis and its effects on the people of New York and their livelihoods. Local government has approved several additional industries and venues for reopening, including art galleries, historical sites, museums, and zoos. Even though the crisis remains real and active and the state runs the danger of yet another wave of new problems emerging as a result of the reopening of the mentioned venues, it’s no longer financially viable to keep the remaining industries from opening their doors to paying customers.

Oneida Indian Nation has in the meantime declared its intention of implementing additional safety measures. Management will for the remainder of the month of July, and even beyond and for as long as this is called for by the current situation, prohibit all guests from smoking inside of buildings when gambling or enjoying other forms of entertainment. Since smoking interferes with the effective wearing of protective facemasks, guests will until further notice no longer be permitted to light up whilst visiting the First Nation’s casinos and accompanying eateries.

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