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The Oneida Indian Nation will reopen sportsbooks at three New York casinos this Wednesday (July 22nd). 

Gaming, a selection of restaurants and some other activities had been reopened at the same three locations on June 10th. 

The reopening of these sportsbooks will take place in time for the start of the 2020 MLB season and soon-to-resume NBA campaign. 

New York City is entering the fourth phase of its COVID-19 reopening plan, following the rest of the state doing likewise and a continued drop in cases and deaths. 

Upcoming sporting events the main reason for reopening sportsbooks 

The Oneidas will reopen their sportsbooks at the Turning Resort Casino in Verona, Chittenango’s Yellow Brick Road Casino and the Point Place Casino in Bridgeport. The sports betting lounges at each of these venues is called ‘The Lounge with Caesars Sports’. 

The Oneidas made a news release last Thursday, stating that the NBA and MLB seasons were the main reason for reopening the three sportsbooks. 

Staff will be on hand to take bets at windows and kiosks, with large-screen TVs installed to follow events as they unfold. 

Although face coverings are not feasible at any of ‘The Lounge with Caesars Sports’ areas, other safety measures will be in place. Capacity for each will be limited to 50%, with social distancing also to be enforced. 

The casinos have revealed a ‘Safer Together Reopening Plan’, which highlights the measures being taken to protect staff and patrons alike. 

These sports betting lounges reopening will mean that New York’s sports betting market can also begin to make revenue again. Mobile and online wagering are not permitted in the state, despite efforts being made to change that and neighboring New Jersey’s market flourishing in this respect. 

When will commercial casinos in New York reopen? 

The Oneidas and other state tribes are strictly bound to the closing orders that New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has introduced. However, their own safety measures are not too dissimilar from his. 

While the Oneidas have had three casinos opened since last month and other Indian nations have also begun welcoming back customers, the four commercial casinos in Upstate New York remain closed. And as things stand, these venues still don’t have an official reopening date. 

As reported by the Albany Business Review, a state official said that casinos haven’t been allowed to reopen because they “invite social gatherings with customers in proximity to each other while eating and drinking, activities that don’t allow for consistent mask-wearing”. 

Upstate New York’s commercial casinos warned last week that if they are not able to reopen by the end of September, thousands of employees who are currently furloughed might need to be laid off permanently. 

New York making progress in the fight against COVID-19

Much of New York State has already entered phase four of the reopening plan, with malls and museums among those being allowed to reopen at a limited capacity.

As of today, New York City will join the rest of the state in doing likewise. Unlike elsewhere in the state, though, malls, museums and dining rooms will remain closed. 

Cuomo has said that he is still worried about compliance when it comes to bars and restaurants, and that alcohol must be served with food. 

Despite malls and museums not being allowed to reopen, zoos and botanical gardens will be. 

On July 11th, the Big Apple reported no new coronavirus deaths for the first time since March.

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