New Yorkers can go back to casinos but must follow a number of new COVID-19 related regulations.

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On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced casinos and video lottery terminal facilities will be allowed to reopen starting Sept. 9 with a 25 percent occupancy limit.

All venues that choose to reopen will be subject to strict safety protocols, including strict enforcement of face coverings except when eating or drinking, social distancing, additional staff to control occupancy, traffic flow and seating to avoid crowding as well an enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols, officials say.

"First and foremost I want to thank Governor Cuomo and his representatives for working with my office to find a pathway to reopening casinos. Resorts World: Catskills has been working to ensure that safety precautions are in place to prevent infection transmissions. Resorts World employs more than one thousand people in Sullivan County, providing health insurance as well as a living wage," Assemblywoman Aileen Gunter (100th Assembly District) said in a press release. "The casino’s reopening will provide Sullivan County with tremendous economic activity."

Casinos must also have enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards in place in order to open. Casinos must leave six feet of distance between operating machines. No table games will be allowed unless and until casinos put in place physical barriers between players and the Gaming Commission approves those barriers. No beverage or food service will be allowed on the gaming floor. The State Gaming Commission will be deployed to monitor casinos and ensure strict enforcement of these measures.

"New Yorkers have done an extraordinary job - we flattened the curve in a way that no expert thought was possible," Cuomo said. "We've made the determination that we can safely reopen casinos with enhanced air filtration and strict safety protocols including mandatory masks and social distancing. This is good news and the right next step in our data-driven, phased reopening which is working."

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