Waiting game continues for region's casinos
ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) – Right now, the only game being played at local casinos is the waiting game. That's because casinos were among several industries left out of the initial plans for Phase Four reopening.
"It’s been very difficult," says Batavia Downs Gaming CEO Henry Wojtaszek.
The casino’s restaurants and hotel remain open, leaving just the game floor and the racetrack as inactive. Governor Cuomo gave fanless horse racing the okay earlier this month, but there has yet to be word on when the gaming can return and what guidelines casinos would have to follow.
"Whatever they are, safety is paramount, the most important thing is we want to make sure customers feel safe and comfortable," Wojtaszek says.
Wojtaszek says they're not simply waiting around, though. With their other attractions open, he says they've still been able to plan and make some adjustments. You'll notice sanitizing stations to Plexiglas dividers and posted reminders to both keep distance and wear a mask. They’ll also require temperature checks.
It follows a trend of preparation plans at other area casinos.
In a statement: Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack told News10NBC the following:
“We are continuing to consult with the New York State Gaming Commission and local and state health officials to be prepared for reopening at the appropriate time, and we look forward to welcoming our guests again soon. We’ve shared our reopening plans for Finger Lakes as well as our parent company Delaware North’s experience since May in successfully reopening several gaming venues in other states under capacity restrictions and our own comprehensive Play It Safe program. Play It Safe follows U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on sanitizing protocols and cleaning throughout our venue, as well as mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, temperature checks and other ways that we will help keep our guests and employees safe from COVID-19 and provide them peace of mind while they are in our facility.”
Del Lago Resort and Casino said the following:
"We have developed a comprehensive reopening plan – with input from various stakeholders – that meets or exceeds CDC and OSHA guidelines. We are ready to reopen upon state approval."
Back in Batavia, Wojtaszek says after the green light is given, it still may take them a couple of weeks to get everything ready to meet guidelines.
"We hope they're published next week, but we'll follow the guidelines and we'll make sure our customers feel safe and it'll be a place they'll want to come back to and enjoy themselves," he says.