Reopening of Resorts World Casino puts southeast Queens employees back to work

Resorts World
Photo by Ellison Bronze Photography

A Queens lawmaker is expressing gratitude toward Gov. Andrew Cuomo for allowing many of his southeast Queens constituents to get back to work with the reopening of Resorts World Casino New York City in Jamaica.

The economic engine at Aqueduct Raceway was given the green light to open its doors to the public on Sept. 9 for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown forced it to close on March 16.

“This will result in many of the furloughed casino workers returning to their jobs and providing for their families while permitting our residents to visit these gaming sites to safely enjoy the amenities during these difficult times,” state Senator Joseph Addabbo said. “The reopening of the casinos will also be an economic generator for revenue and educational funding during these difficult times.”

While it is unclear how many of the nearly 1,000 furloughed employees will be back on the job when Resorts World reopens at 10 a.m., the casino will be required to cap their maximum capacity at 25 percent until further notice from the state.

“While this is a productive first step, I am hopeful that further guidelines and metrics will be put in place, where we can reexamine the status of the casino operations and COVID rates, possibly every two weeks, which would provide information and guidance towards the decisions on allowing additional aspects of the casino to reopen. I look forward to seeing how we progress from here,” state Senator Joseph Addabbo said. 

Genting Americas East, the company that operates Resorts World, 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, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols. The casino must also have enhanced air filtration and purification standards in place, according to the state.

“We have implemented a plan to seamlessly integrate the unmatched experience in excitement, entertainment, and luxury that guests have come to expect, with more stringent health protocols that are needed to operate safely,” Genting Americas East President Bob DeSalvio said. “We are excited to play our part in Moving New York Forward.”

Additionally, the casino must leave six feet of distance between operating machines and no beverage or food service will be allowed on the gaming floor. The State Gaming Commission will be deployed to monitor and ensure strict enforcement of these measures.

“While the casino floor may look a little different, all of these changes are part of our 21-point plan, created with your health and safety in mind,” Resorts World Casino New York City President Scott Molina said. “Regulating capacity on the casino floor will allow for easier social distancing, and sanitation stations will make it easier for you to wipe down table games and other common areas before touching them. Once we are back open, we will constantly be evaluating the situation in order to gauge when we can return our full suite of amenities to our valued guests.”