Despite having a coronavirus infection rate of less than 1%, New York State still hasn’t been able to get its casino market back on its feet due to orders from Governor Andrew Cuomo. That could change soon, as Cuomo plans on providing some type of updated guidance this week, but, in the meantime, other states are beginning to welcome gamblers back to the action. The latest is Florida and, as of today, casinos and indoor dining are back on the menu in Miami-Dade. The decision to reopen the businesses comes as the infection rate has remained below 8.2% for the past week.
Miami casinos have been shut down twice during the coronavirus pandemic, the most recent one on July 3. Miami-Date Mayor Carlos Gimenez had ordered the second closure as COVID-19 began to spike in the area but, now that things have calmed down somewhat, he’s ready to let things going again. There will be strict health regulations in place and capacity is limited to 50%, but the relaunch is a step in the right direction.
As with virtually everywhere, gamblers will be required to wear masks inside any gaming facility and will have to follow social distancing protocols. They won’t be able to drink or eat in the gaming areas, although respective locations are available. For their part, casinos will have to be more diligent with their cleaning routines and will have to pay more attention to what’s going on in their properties to ensure protocols are being followed. If not, they could face fines or, worse, yet another forced closure. Those gamblers who think the mask rules don’t apply to them are urged to remain at home playing tiddlywinks.
Indoor dining will be allowed, but with the same 50% capacity established for casinos. Each table can seat up to six people for the time being, and restaurants will be required to keep air conditioning and heating systems running as long as there are diners present. All doors and windows should be open, as well, to allow better air circulation.
After the first wave of COVID-19, when it seemed things were starting to improve, Florida saw a new spike in positive cases. Among the regions in the state with the most was Miami-Dade, which forced stringent measures to be implemented, including a wide-sweeping closure of businesses and a 10 PM curfew. Things have gotten substantially better since then and state officials put the current number of positive cases at no more than 8.2% over the past week, and under 9.3% over the past two weeks.
While progress toward normal operations is being made, there’s still more work to be done. The new order issued by Miami-Dade’s mayor doesn’t cover movie theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, convention centers or other similar indoor amusement facilities.