With the coronavirus still an issue in the United States, businesses are starting to reopen but with certain stipulations. In Atlantic City, casinos have been waiting to reopen on July 2 and have made certain changes in preparation. However, before opening day arrived, Governor Phil Murphy threw the industry a curveball. Smoking and drinking is not allowed in New Jersey casino venues until Murphy feels it is safe to do so. The change in regulation actually caused the largest casino in AC, the Borgata, to delay reopening.
Indoor dining was also supposed to be allowed but has since been cancelled. It was the indoor dining stipulation that kept the Borgata from reopening fully. As the cases of coronavirus continue to increase in the state, the governor does not feel it is safe for indoor dining to resume at this time.
The casino properties can only operate at 25% capacity, with social distancing measures in place. Masks are also mandatory for staff members as well as guests. The environment will be completely different to what players are used to in the past. We shall see just how willing people will be to visit the casinos with the stipulations in place once they open back up this weekend.
The Borgata was planning on holding a soft reopening for invited guests on the 2nd and then a full reopening on the 6th. That will no longer take place. Now, it seems the Borgata will wait and see if indoor dining will be allowed. In a statement, the casino operator said their guests expect a certain level of service and hospitality. If they cannot provide it, they feel it is best to just stay closed until it is deemed safe to serve food and beverages once again.
After this weekend, the casino operators in Atlantic City should have a better idea as to how players will respond to the new rules and if they will be able to see enough traffic to begin to earn revenues that are much needed after being closed for over 100 days.
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