Thousands of casino employees in the Hudson Valley will soon be out of a job soon as casinos remain closed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
More than 4,000 employees at Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Rivers Casino Resorts World Catskills and Resorts World New York City have all been given notice that their positions are being terminated amid the outbreak of the virus.
Employees had previously been furloughed since the pandemic began in New York in mid-March and now have been issued warning that they are to be let go.
"Unfortunately, several weeks after ceasing operations in March, we were forced to make the difficult decision to furlough some of our employees," officials from Resorts World said in a statement. "As part of that process, we are now required by law to issue WARN letters to the furloughed staff.”
Despite the state being in Phase 4 of it’s scheduled four-phase plan to reopen the economy, casinos have remained closed as they pose a unique threat to facilitate the spread of COVID-19.
Layoff notices were issued to:
- 1,256 employees at Resorts World Casino in Monticello;
- More than 1,000 workers at Rivers Casino in Schenectady and del Lago Resort and Casino in Tye;
- 955 employees at Resorts World New York City at the Aqueduct Racetrack;
- 900 at Tioga Down and Vernon Downs in upstate New York.
Plans to expedite reopening casinos includes installing advanced air filtration systems similar to those that permitted malls to reopen last week, as well as temperature checks, face covering requirements, and social distancing between players and dealers.
“My primary concern is for my employees, and it pains me to send them this notice when I know they have already been out of work for some time and are relying on benefits to support their families,” Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs owner Jeff Gural said in a statement.
“I fully understand the necessity to keep both our staff and our guests healthy by closing for now, but I am eagerly anticipating safely getting everyone back to work soon.”
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