Industry Reports

NYS Gambling Field Paves Way for Brighter Future amid COVID-19

New York State’s gambling field is implementing more measures battling the novel coronavirus outspread. Rivers Casino in Schenectady made it clear it is about to postpone some of its live events scheduled to take place in April and May this year. The statewide lockdown aims to slow down the novel coronavirus spread on a state level, as New York State witnessed a large number of COVID-19 cases.

As of March 30, the overall number of individuals contracting the highly contagious virus has reached 66,497. Some 6,984 new cases have been confirmed over the past 24 hours solely, marking yet another day-to-day surge. Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is ready to welcome up to 1,000 individuals with COVID-19 as the first temporary hospital.

Postponed Live Events

The death toll as of Monday surpassed the 1,200 mark. Most of the cases hail from New York City followed by Westchester and Nassau. In this dynamically changing situation, casino venues remain closed indefinitely, as they are not considered essential businesses that should continue their regular operation. Rivers Casino Schenectady is one of the four commercial casinos in Upstate New York that issued more details on its live events.

All of the live performances supposed to take place in March, April, and May have already been postponed indefinitely or with a new date announced. March 17 was about to see Aunt Mary Pat’s Fish Outta Wooder Tour with a live performance, but this event is about to transform June 3, as it was confirmed. The Still Surfin’ Dinner Show on March 25 was postponed until August 12.

The month of April is also going to see several postponed and canceled live events. April 10 was about to see the Cage Wars 46 event that is now going to make May 22 a more special day for its fans. However, the Easter Buffet scheduled for April 12 had to be canceled. Alan Parsons Live Project on May 8 was also canceled.

In-Person Sports Betting

Amid the growing crisis on a state level, the Seneca Nation of Indians is still in a legal dispute with the New York Government in relation to outstanding casino revenue payments. Surviving without regular casino revenue allocations has been a task that several communities have had to face over the past couple of years. The tribe owes some US$255,877,747.44 in gaming revenue payments generated over the past nearly three years of casino operation.

The three communities struggling without the regular payments have had to make ends meet over this period. July is projected to see the filing of papers for both parties, making sure that the issue at hand has been thoroughly reviewed. Taking this schedule into account could mean that an official decision would not be available until September or October 2020. The COVID-19 crisis has left many commercial and tribal casino workers without a job.

In the meantime, another pending NYS issue related to the sports wagering is once again on the table. Yonkers City Council gave its nod to a resolution once again urging the New York State Legislature and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to action. It aims to see in-person sports wagering introduced at MGM’s Empire City in Yonkers and Resorts World in Queens. This would make the two venues more competitive to both commercial and tribal rivals.