Albany Rally Calls for Reopening of Casinos in New York

A rally will take place on Thursday this week by casino employees asking Governor Cuomo to reopen the casinos in New York. Commercial casinos were closed back in March and some 5,600 employees have been furlough since.

New York Casino Employees: “We Need to Work”

A rally is planned to take place in Albany later this week. Casino employees from New York will be leading the rally, asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to reopen the casinos in the state. The rally is planned for Thursday, August 20, 11 a.m. Organizers of the rally are:

  • Tioga Downs Casino Resort hotel and front desk manager Robin Torr
  • Del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County table games supervisor Valerie McIntyre
  • Vernon Downs assistant hotel manager and cage operations manager Greg Mallette

The three casino employees created a Facebook group which so far has 862 members. Furthermore, they organized an online petition which calls for the reopening of the casinos in the state. By now, more than 2,400 people have signed the petition.

In an interview for The Citizen on Monday, McIntyre said: “We need to work.” She continued by saying: “We don’t want to keep collecting your unemployment. Let us earn what we deserve. We are ready to go back to work.” McIntyre outlined that the rally will follow the health and safety guidelines and participants will wear face coverings.

Mallette also joined the discussion by saying: “When you are putting us in a position where we just have no guidance, we have no idea whatsoever.” He added that not knowing when you can return to work is just as worse as being laid off after a few months of waiting.

The casino employees are basically calling the Governor to respond with a timeline when casinos can reopen. The workers said that more rallies will be held unless a timely response is received by Governor Cuomo.

Shut since March, It Is Unknown If New York’s Casinos Will Reopen Soon

The casinos in the Empire State were shut down back in March. Similar to other states, the local officials introduced this measure in order to reduce the spread of the respiratory disease COVID-19. The shutdown effectively led to furloughs of some 5,200 casino employees in the state, which have not returned to work since.

Shopping venues and malls have already reopened for visitors in the state. But earlier this month Governor Cuomo did not give the go ahead to reopen the commercial casinos. He argued that the main reasons for casinos to stay shut are the likelihood of lack of compliance, issues of density and the essential nature of the business. At that point he added: “A shopping center – people need food, people need clothes, people need home goods…You don’t need a casino to maintain survival.” 

Last week Friday, the Governor allowed bowling alleys to reopen. Furthermore, a plan is going to be issued regarding the reopening of gyms. However, casinos were not included in those announcements, which consequently led to the rally planned later this week.

Looking at the total positive COVID-19 cases in New York currently there are some 456,509 reported cases. On the bright side, the state is no longer leading the chart of total positive COVID-19 cases.  For the moment, most cases are reported in California, with total number of some 635,000.

1 Comment

  • Robin Torr
    August 18, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    The date for rally is incorrect. It is for Thursday 8/20.

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