Seneca Niagara Casino Reopening June 18, Other New York Tribal Venues to Follow

Posted on: June 9, 2020, 09:56h. 

Last updated on: June 9, 2020, 11:21h.

Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Upstate New York will reopen on June 18, with numerous health and safety measures in place.

Seneca Niagara New York casinos
Seneca Niagara will remove its concrete barriers and welcome back guests next week. (Image: Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

The Seneca Nation announced yesterday that after being closed for nearly three months, the tribe is ready to move forward with a safe and responsible reopening of its gaming operations.

The Native American group owns and operates Seneca Niagara, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, and Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino – all three Class III gaming enterprises with slot machines and table games. The tribe additionally owns Class II gaming properties in Irving, Salamanca, and Cuba.

After being closed for nearly three months, we are now ready to move forward with the safe, responsible, and systematic reopening of our gaming facilities,” said Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong Sr. “This is a signature moment in our region’s economic recovery from the circumstances that arose as a result of this unprecedented public health crisis.”

Seneca Niagara will lead the way by opening at 10 a.m. next Thursday. Buffalo Creek will open on June 25, and Alleghany on July 2. The Class II gaming properties will open on June 18 as well.

Tribal Casinos Reopening

Seneca Nation’s reopening plans follow the Oneida Indian Nation, which is opening its tribal casinos tomorrow, June 10. The Oneida Indians own three casinos – Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango, and Point Place Casino in Bridgeport.

New York tribes voluntarily closed their casinos to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect employees and guests. New York has been the hardest-hit coronavirus state, total positive cases now nearing 379,000.

Upstate New York, however, hasn’t been nearly as infected as the downstate New York City metro area. Niagara County has just 1,116 cases, and Alleghany County only 51. Erie County (home to Buffalo Creek) is substantially higher at 6,531 cases.

The state’s four upstate commercial casinos remain closed. Del Lago Resort Casino is in Seneca County, which has reported just 61 COVID-19 cases. Tioga Downs Casino Resort is in Tioga (134 cases), Resorts World Catskills in Sullivan (1,417 cases), and Rivers in Schenectady (712 cases).

Seneca leaders say it’s time to restart their casinos and get people back to work.

“Suspending our operations in March was an unimaginable scenario. But it was the right decision to make,” said Armstrong. “Now, we will begin restarting one of the region’s most powerful economic engines.”

Safety Measures

Seneca Niagara will offer guests on June 18 a far different experience than before the coronavirus struck. Employees and patrons will have their body temperature assessed as they enter, and anyone who receives two readings of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will be turned away.

No one under the age of 21 will be permitted. Each person must use hand sanitizer as they enter.

Face masks are required for all guests and team members. “No mask, no entry. If you don’t have a face mask one may be provided for you,” the casino web page states.

Directional arrows will guide guests across the casino floor to maintain social distancing. Certain slot machines will be turned off to maintain spacing, and table games will not be available.

Smoking is prohibited everywhere inside the casino resort.