New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday that casinos will be able to reopen at a 25 percent capacity beginning on September 9.

All venues that choose to reopen will be subject to strict safety protocols, including strict enforcement of face coverings except when eating or drinking, or social distancing.

Additional staff must be present to control occupancy, traffic flow and seating in order to avoid crowding.

Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols must also be taken.

Casinos must also have enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards in place in order to open.

There must be at least six feet of distance between operating machines.

No table games will be allowed unless casinos put in place physical barriers between players. The Gaming Commission then needs to approve the barriers.

No beverage or food service will be allowed on the gaming floor.

Tioga Downs Resort and Casino notified its employees of a possible permanent closure in July, when Cuomo announced the indefinite suspension of casino operations.

Tioga County receives over a million dollars a year in a normal year from proceeds from Tioga Downs, according to Legislative Chairwoman Martha Sauerbrey.

The air filtration system in the casino at Tioga Downs was upgraded with MERV-13 filters a few months ago, and it has also retained the services of Well Health Safety for Clean Air-System and Core Management Services, a Binghamton company, to monitor all of their equipment and cleaning protocols.

Ryan Sharp can be reached at rsharp@morning-times.com or (570) 888-9643 ext. 231. Follow @RealRyanSharp on Twitter.

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