Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts announced Wednesday that it will reopen with limited capacity on Monday, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. after being closed for six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Upon re-opening, attendance will be capped at 25 percent capacity under regulations set by the New York State Gaming Commission. There will also be restrictions on food and beverage availability
Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and president of MGM Resorts, said health and safety for Empire City’s patrons and employees is the top priority.
“This has been an unimaginably difficult and challenging time, and as we reopen our doors and welcome back team members and guests, we owe our gratitude to all health care and essential workers and those providing resources to the community,” Hornbuckle said. “It’s been several months since we were forced to close, so it is with strong emotion that we welcome our team members back to work. Health and safety remain our first priority, and our commitment to New York has never been stronger.”
MGM Resorts’ comprehensive Seven-Point Safety Plan is a complex set of protocols and procedures designed in conjunction with medical and scientific experts to mitigate the spread of the virus, protect customers and employees and rapidly respond to potential new COVID-19 cases. As time passes, the company will continue to evaluate and evolve its safety protocols.
Key initiatives from the plan and protocols specific to Empire City include:
- Employee screening, temperature checks and COVID-19 specific training
- Guest screening and temperature checks with limited casino entrance points
- Masks required in all areas for employees and guests (and provided free of charge)
- Physical distancing policy for all guests and employees
- Physical barriers installed in areas where distancing presents challenges
- Standalone handwashing stations designed by MGM Resorts and conveniently located on the casino floor
- Increased and enhanced routine cleaning based on CDC guidance, with electrostatic sprayers utilized in many large public areas to apply disinfectant efficiently
- Restaurant digital menus available to view on personal mobile devices via QR codes
- Virtual waiting lists for restaurant guests with text message notification when tables are ready
- MGM Resorts has compiled an internal team and processes to respond if a guest or employee tests positive for COVID-19. If a guest tests positive after visiting an MGM property, they are asked to alert the company through a special e-mail address (email@example.com). The company will immediately report any positive test results to the local health department.
Here’s a glimpse at what guests can expect:
- Gaming: Empire City’s gaming floor of slots and electronic table games will be open. To promote physical distancing, numerous machines have been disabled and chairs have been removed.
- Dining: The Pub, Empire City Chophouse and The Big Kitchen international food court will be open for dining. Food and beverage are prohibited on the gaming floor.
- Bars and Beverage Service: In accordance with state guidelines, bars on the property will remain closed and beverage service on the casino floor is not permitted.
- Yonkers Raceway: Live racing resumed at Yonkers Raceway in June, and will continue to follow a revised racing schedulewithout spectators. State guidelines prohibit on-property wagering at this time.
- Property Entrance: Entrance to the property will be limited to the Yonkers Avenue entrance. The Central Avenue general parking entrance and Clark Street valet entrance will remain closed.
- Parking/Valet: Complementary self-parking will be available for guests; valet parking and shuttle service will not be operational at this time.
Hosted, invitation-only access will be available to certain MLife members ahead of Sept. 21.
For a full list of offerings, visit empirecitycasino.com. Empire City will continue to work closely with medical experts and state officials to determine how to safely and appropriately offer more amenities and entertainment to guests when possible.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/