VERONA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Back in March, the Oneida Indian Nation closed all of its gaming properties to stop the spread of COVID-19. On Wednesday, they re-opened all three casinos in a phased process called, “Safer Together.”
But there are some changes that customers should know about. Anyone traveling more than 120 miles to get to the casino will not be let in.
Just before 5 a.m., Janet Tucker traveled 40 miles from Newport, New York to make sure she was first in line at the reopening.
“I will feel like life is getting back to normal. I enjoy coming to the casino, I enjoy shopping, I enjoy going out to dinner and so this is my way of returning to normalcy,” said Tucker.
But normalcy looks different at all three of the Oneida Nation’s three gaming properties in Central New York.
Patrons have to be local and have a New York address. As soon as you get into one of their casinos, they will be scanning your ID to make sure of it.
After scanning your license, guests are asked to use hand sanitizer when they enter the building. Then they’ll take a picture of you for contact tracing.
This means that if someone who went to the casino in the same time period as you tests positive for COVID-19, they’ll need to be able to get in touch to notify guests to watch for symptoms. Guests are also required to wear a mask or face covering at all times.
“It’s constantly monitoring the conditions in the area and in the state, the same metrics that the state does, the county does, to try and measure when its best to move forward to the next phase, so as soon as it’s safe and responsible, we can’t wait to invite more people, but at this point, we are taking those special measures,” said Dan Jones, Director of Guest Experience for Oneida Nation Enterprises.
In smoking areas, bars, lounges, and restaurants, they will be limited capacity to 50 percent, as it’s not reasonable to wear a mask in those areas.