New York Casinos Finally Returning to Full Operating Hours

New York Casinos Finally Returning to Full Operating Hours
By Jim Tomlin

New York casinos are allowed to extend their operating hours beginning April 5 after an order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The 11 p.m. curfew is being lifted for several types of business establishments, including casinos.

Empire City in Yonkers, just north of the Bronx and Manhattan, and Rivers Casino and Resort Schenectady are among the facilities which will resume normal operating hours for the first time in about a year.

Casinos in New York, like those around the country, shut down and then had their hours and capacity slashed as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. Measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 shuttered the whole industry beginning in March 2020.

But a number of changes in New York State’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, according to a report on NY1, are going into practice on Monday. For instance, spectator sports venues, whether indoors or outdoors, can allow fans at 20% capacity, the NY1 story said.

New York Casino Operating Hours

There have been moves toward building a casino in New York City proper, but until then, residents of the five boroughs have Empire City as a nearby gaming option.

The Empire City Casino is going back to its normal hours — 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. daily — starting on Monday, the Westchester & Fairfield County Business Journals reported. The facility had shut down from March until September, then has been operating under reduced hours since reopening.

Meanwhile, the Rivers Casino and Resort Schenectady will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. starting Monday. Rivers is one of four commercial casinos in the state to offer sports betting (though bettors must be inside the facility to wager). Both Rivers and another of those four commercial casinos in New York where sports betting is allowed, Tioga Downs in Nichols, will continue to operate at 25% capacity, though both can stay open past 11 p.m.

Tioga Downs will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. from Sunday through Thursday each week and 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, according to a story at, the website of Binghamton radio station WNBF-AM.

As for those four commercial casinos (and some tribal casinos) taking sports bets in the state, they might have the market to themselves for a while longer.

The state legislature has stalled in its latest rounds of budget negotiations — and online sports betting is one of the components going very slowly. The legislature has already bypassed an April 1 deadline to have a budget done.



Jim Tomlin has more than 30 years of experience in sports journalism as an editor and writer. He has covered pro and college sports from football, baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, motorsports and more for publications such as the Tampa Bay Times,, and FanRag Sports. He now lends his expertise to, among other duties.

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