Meadowlands Racetrack re-opened on Saturday after closing for 11 days dut to COVID-19. The racetrack’s spokesman stated that an employee tested positive for coronavirus after attending a wedding in upstate New York.
Meadowlands Racetrack felt it was necessary to close down the facility and test all employees to ensure an outbreak did not happen. The facility sanitized and cleaned air filtration systems to ensure the racetrack was COVID-free before reopening to the public.
They are still taking extra precautions as FanDuel Sportsbook, located at Meadowlands Racetrack, did not have seating available during the Week 5 NFL slate this past Sunday. Meadowlands also wants to remind patrons that masks are mandatory to enter and must be worn over your mouth and nose the whole time in the facility.
Although Meadowlands Racetrack re-opened over the weekend, they took extra precautions to ensure a COVID outbreak did not repeat itself twice in a two-week span.
Patrons trying to place bets at Meadowlands had to fill out a questionnaire along with having their temperature checked before entering. Reports estimated that bettors had to wait for roughly an hour before seeing a teller at the FanDuel Sportsbook. Social distancing was also required while waiting.
However, the demand was obviously there for trying to get the in-person experience. Although it was not the same this weekend as the racetrack wanted to take extra precautions. Everyone working the horse races, including the jockeys, had to wear a mask. Jockey’s and crew members had to fill out a questionnaire and get their temperature before entering the stable gate, and it was mandatory to wear a mask in the paddock.
What was interesting about the long lines and high demand to place in-person wagers is that New Jersey has legal mobile betting. Bettors can place wagers on their phones instead of sitting in line to place bets. Also, anyone could use another sportsbook other than FanDuel like DraftKings, PointsBet, BetMGM, and others.
Meadowlands Racetrack has been the only New Jersey track to have to shut down due to a positive COVID case.
Can Casinos and Racetracks Avoid an Outbreak?
New Jersey has been fortunate that there has not been a serious COVID outbreak since reopening casinos and racetracks in early July.
Atlantic City has followed strict operating guidelines to keep employees and customers safe, like making masks mandatory and limiting capacity so social distancing guidelines can be practiced.
New Jersey had to shut down all in-person gaming operations three and a half months due to the coronavirus, and Atlantic City lost over $100 million in that stretch. Although things are still not where casinos want to be, it is better than nothing to have 25% capacity during a pandemic.
Casinos and racetracks will have no problem trading limited capacity while constantly seeing some revenue being generated instead of trying to open up too quickly, causing the state to enforce another quarantine.
Overall, as long as racetracks and casinos take the extra steps to ensure everyone is staying safe, then Atlantic City will be fine in the long-term.