VERNON, N.Y. – New York State is yet to provide any guidance on the reopening of non-tribal casinos, and two local officials are pushing for an expedited timeline.
State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-47, and Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to release guidance so Vernon Downs Hotel Casino can reopen and avoid losing more than 300 jobs in the area.
Jeff Gural, owner of Vernon Downs, recently announced the racetrack would be closing early for the season, saying he may be facing permanent closure by October if not able to reopen soon.
Gural has submitted a safety plan to the New York State Gaming Commission, that included new social distancing rules, improved cleaning protocols, an updated air filtration system and the installation of plastic barriers, among other things.
“Enough is enough,” said Picente. “Vernon Downs has a viable plan to reopen and operate safely, but it continues to be left in limbo without any direction from the state. Governor Cuomo owes it to the hundreds of employees who work there, and the other businesses in our community that rely on Vernon Downs, to address their suffering and restore their livelihoods.”
All Vernon Downs employees were sent notices under the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act in July, making them aware that their jobs could be eliminated within 90 days if the venue was not allowed to reopen.