New York casinos to reopen

By Ethan Anderson Updated
Cashless casino gaming comes to New York 

Casinos in New York state, including one controlled by Genting group are set to reopen this week.

GGR Asia reports tribal casinos in the state had already reopened, with commercial casinos also given the go ahead.

Genting’s Resorts World Catskills, located in upstate New York, had been closed since March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The venue said in a notice on its website that it would “ready to open its doors on Wednesday, September 9, at 10am.”

It added there would be “stringent new health, safety, scheduling and hygiene procedures in place, ahead of our carefully-managed reopening.”

The property said it had a “21-point safety plan.”

The plan included: limiting entry points to the venue to the main front entrance and the parking garage; body temperature screening for all arrives; mask wearing required of staff and customers; and for guests to stay at least six feet (1.8 metres) apart from anyone not in their immediate group, and while queueing, using lifts, or moving around the resort.

Other points included: the placing on the casino floor and throughout the property, of more than 200 “sanitation stations” equipped with hand sanitiser and cleaning wipes and “enhanced” safety training for staff on infection control and the use of a dedicated cleaning team to protect high-use areas of the property.

Empire Resorts, the operating entity at Resorts World, was acquired in November by entities controlled by Genting’s Lim family.

The Genting group also runs the Resorts World Casino New York City, a racetrack casino.

According to local media reports, the property is also scheduled to resume operations on September 9, although its official website had no mention of it.

Genting Malaysia, a unit of the Genting group, reported its second quarter resulted were down US$7.6 million in the three months to June 30.

Genting UK outraged by continued casino closure

Genting UK has voiced its frustration at the UK government’s decision to keep casinos across England closed for a further two weeks.

European Gaming reported in August that Genting UK, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Genting Malaysia, described the move as a “whack-a-mole approach” in policymakers’ lockdown strategy to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Genting UK’s director of corporate assurance and regulatory affairs Jon Duffy was quoted as saying last Friday that the announcement flew in the face of government strategy pertaining to local lockdowns.

“After weeks of meticulous planning, we find it incredible that we have been given less than 24 hours’ notice as to this change of plan, which in itself has caused huge damage to the business,” Mr Duffy said.

“Significant numbers of staff have been brought back from furlough to prepare for the reopening, and this is devastating news for our entire team who now faces further worry and uncertainty.

“For every week we remain closed, it is costing us more than 1.5 million pounds. This is clearly not sustainable, with more jobs and livelihoods being put at risk with every last-minute change and delay.”

It has been reported that Genting UK claimed the UK government’s decision to delay all casinos in England from reopening “defied logic” and “seriously threatens the future of the entire industry.”

“We recognise that incredibly difficult decisions have to be made by all those in government, but we are absolutely confident our venues are as safe, if not more so, than a range of other businesses now currently operating,” Genting UK said.

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