Atlantic City opened their doors on Thursday for the first time since the pandemic hit. All but on casino in Atlantic City reopened for business. Also, strict guidelines have been put in place to keep employees and customers safe.
Masks are necessary, and social distancing is encouraged. Casinos have sanitizing stations all over their properties, casinos are screening employees temperatures before working, and team members have been caught up to speed on state-mandated health and safety protocols.
Casinos are only allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity, and they’ll take every bit of it. Atlantic City and its employees are excited about reopening their doors and bringing customers back in.
COVID-19 Impact on Atlantic City
According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, gaming revenue across the market was down nearly 69% in April and 65% in May. The shutdown hurt business, and are happy to reopen even if it only means 25 percent of capacity is allowed.
Also, casinos are not allowed to offer eating, drinking, and dining. Borgata was the only casino not to reopen after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that casinos would not be able to offer food and beverages. The industry is already hurting, and despite being able to open, another aspect of revenue has been limited.
Customers were waiting outside the Hard Rock Casino for the casino to open at 7 am Thursday. Customers said they felt safe as the Hard Rock has always been a clean place. Also, all customers wore facemasks, and no one had issues with complying. Many table games have glass barriers in between customers.
Casinos have cleaning crews coming in to wipe down high touch surfaces every hour. Also, some even have over 200 hand sanitizer stations across the casino floor, so customers can feel safe while they’re gambling.
What’s Next for Atlantic City?
The goal is to stay open and remain clean. There’s a fear that a second wave could shutdown casinos again. After a 108-day layoff, casinos don’t want to have to go through another one. Casinos have always made sure their customers are satisfied with their experience. Now, the goal is also going to be to make sure they stay healthy.
Casinos have a lot of high touch areas, so there’s a high chance of spread if they custodians are not cleaning them often. One positive is that there are plenty of machines and table games for customers to play, so they can make social distance work while playing.
Also, Atlantic City casinos are taking precautions to make sure their employees are healthy too. The casino workers have to get their temperatures checked at the door before entering work. Anyone that has a fever will not be allowed to come in. Also, all employees have hand sanitizer available and mandatory for them to wear a mask.
Overall, this is great news for Atlantic City and its customers. Reopening gives a boost of morale to people who have been stuck inside for months. Also, the New York and New Jersey have been hit extra hard by the pandemic. If places can reopen, even at limited capacity, then that is a good sign for the New York and New Jersey area.