This week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that casinos (and malls) will be able to reopen on September 9. Reopening casinos comes with one major stipulation. Casinos must have an improved air filtration system. While COVID-19 continues to spread, cleaner air is a key component for any indoor space.
MGM Resorts made identifying ways to improve air quality one if the main focuses of the national casino operators reopening health and safety plan. Not all casino operators have put an emphasis on clean air. New York state mandating better air filtration systems is one way to make guests feel more comfortable when returning to casinos.
Another condition that New York casinos will have to abide by is new capacity limits. New York casinos will reopen with a 25% capacity limit. Governor Cuomo said, “We’ve made the determination that we can safely reopen casinos with enhanced air filtration and strict safety protocols including mandatory masks and social distancing.”
Social distancing and protective barriers will also be in place when casinos reopen. Blackjack and other table games will have protective barriers that many casinos have reopened using. The plastic or plexiglass barriers should help to keep the spread of germs between players and dealers to a minimum.
Resorts World Safety Plan
Additionally, machine games must be set up at least 6 feet apart. Casinos may also add protective barriers in between seats at some machine games. Resorts World casinos in New York City and the Catskills have a massive 21 point safety plan.
“The Resorts World team has been anxiously awaiting the day when we can open our doors again to the fun and excitement that our casinos are known for,” said Bob DeSalvio, President of Genting Americas East. “We have implemented a plan to seamlessly integrate the unmatched experiences in excitement, entertainment and luxury that guests have come to expect, with the more stringent health protocols that are needed to operate safely. We are excited to play our part in Moving New York Forward.”
Here are more highlights of the safety plan:
- Resorts World’s staff will conduct noninvasive temperature checks using thermal scanners.
- Guests or team members with a temperature above 100.4 may not enter.
- All guests and team members must wear face masks while on property.
- Over 200 Sanitizing stations equipped with hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be located on the casino floor and throughout the property.
- New technologies have been implemented including density counters, no touch ID scanners, and ultrasonic chip cleaners.
- The Clean Team will be regularly clean and disinfect high-touch areas.
Casino guests must chip in too. All guests at Resorts World casinos should practice social distancing by staying six feet apart from others outside of their party.
New York Blackjack Rules
New York casinos can offer fairly player-friendly blackjack rules with a relatively low house edge. Some key New York blackjack rules are:
- Pays 3:2 for a natural blackjack
- Split any pair dealt initially
- No resplitting Aces
- Double any hand (except blackjack)
- May double after splitting
- Player may surrender
- Dealer hits soft 17
The house edge for New York blackjack will vary by game. New York casinos may deal blackjack games that use one, two, or six decks. The house edge for games can be as low as 0.089% for a single deck game and 0.482% for six decks.
All in all, the New York blackjack games have fair rules. They could be better but they can certainly be much worse. Make sure to check table rules like you would with all live casino blackjack games.