Following months of being closed due to COVID-19 regulations, Empire City Casino announced that it will soon reopen to the public in a limited capacity.
MGM Resorts, the owners of the Yonkers-based casino, confirmed that 25 percent of the facilities would be opened starting on Monday, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m., with special precautions in place to protect the health of both employees and customers.
“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 healthcare and essential workers and those providing resources to the community,” said Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and president of MGM Resorts. “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.”
Upon reopening, the casino put a “Seven-Point Safety Plan” in place, which includes protocols and procedures designed in collaboration with medical experts. The plan aims to protect guests and employees, mitigate the spread of disease and rapidly respond to potential cases. Key initiatives from the plan include:
- Employee and guest screening and temperature checks
- COVID-19 training for employees
- Free masks provided in all areas for both guests and employees
- Enforcement of physical distancing
- Installation of physical barriers where distancing may not be possible
- Standalone handwashing stations on the casino floor
- Increased and enhanced cleanings that adhere with CDC guidelines
- Digital restaurant menus available via QR codes
- Virtual waiting lists to alert guests when tables are ready
According to MGM Resorts, there is an internal team and processes in place in case a guest or employee tests positive for COVID-19. Individuals found to test positive following a visit to an MGM property should email covid19@@mgmresorts.com and the company will immediately report positive tests to the local health department.
On Sept. 21, the following is what casino guests can expect upon reopening:
- An open gaming floor of slots and electronic table games. Many machines have been disabled and chairs removed to promote physical distancing.
- Dining options including The Pub, Empire City Chophouse and The Big Kitchen international food court. Food and beverages are prohibited on the gaming floor.
- Bars on the premises will remain closed and beverage service on the casino floor is not permitted as per state guidelines.
- Live racing, which resumed at Yonkers Raceway in June, will continue with a revised schedule and without spectators. On-property wagering is prohibited at this time.
- Patrons can only enter through the Yonkers Avenue entrance and the Central Avenue General Parking entrance and Clark Street Valet entrance will remain closed.
- Guests will have complimentary self parking, but valet parking and shuttle services will not be operational.
Visit empirecitycasino.com for a full list of offerings.