New York State is in phase four from Long island to Buffalo, but casinos still aren’t operating. Locations not owned by Native Americans, like del Lago, are still waiting.

“The customers are amazing, it’s just been a ride that I don’t want to end," said Valerie McIntyre, table games supervisor.

Valerie McIntyre has been working at del Lago in Waterloo since 2017, and she says her job is amazing, and that she wants Governor Andrew Cuomo to let her workplace reopen.

“We need to get this going, we need Governor Cuomo to understand that we need to work," said McIntyre.

So McIntyre reached out to elected officials, and has started a petition to get the state’s attention.

“I think that it's going to show Governor Cuomo that we are ready. We need to do this, people stand behind the reopening of the casino," said McIntyre.

Del Lago's executive vice president and general manager Lance Young said, in part, "We appreciate Governor Cuomo’s leadership during this time and are eager to safely open our doors and welcome back our employees and patrons."

McIntyre says if other businesses are able to open under restrictions, so should casinos.

“I believe that other businesses are afforded the right to open, you have a lot of the Dollar Trees, a lot of the restaurants, a lot of fast food places, including the Sovereign Nation casinos," said McIntyre.

State Senator Pam Helming agrees if malls are open, casinos should be too. She said in part, " one of the most highly regulated industries in NYS, they are better equipped to manage the situation than many of the big box retailers that have remained open throughout the pandemic. Many local families and surrounding small businesses depend on del Lago and continued closure will jeopardize the economic stability of the region."

According to del Lago, they announced a furlough of more than 1000 employees in mid-July. They are providing health insurance for employees through October.

“A lot of local residents working at the casino. It’s very hard to know that they’re going to face how to feed their families. They’re going to face how to pay their bills, especially with the $600 running out," said McIntyre.

Across Upstate, employees continue to wait.