Casinos in Atlantic City have begun to reopen following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Five casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, reopened yesterday after being closed for more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This comes after New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy last month revealed that casinos in the state would be allowed to resume activities from 2 July, at a maximum capacity of 25%.
Casinos in the state of New Jersey have been closed since 16 March, as part of a ban on gatherings of up to 50 people, to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The five casinos to reopen yesterday were Golden Nugget Atlantic City, The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Ocean Casino Resort, Resorts Casino Hotel and Tropicana Atlantic City.
Other venues, including Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino, Caesars Palace Atlantic City and Harrah’s Atlantic City announced plans to reopen today.
However, the only other venue in Atlantic City, MGM Resorts’ Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, will remain closed for the foreseeable future as Murphy postponed the reopening of indoor dining this week.
The operator said: “Our guests expect a special experience when they come to our property and if we cannot provide that level of hospitality, we feel it best that we remain closed until such time that the Governor lets us know it is safe to offer food and beverage.”
Murphy said that the current restrictions will remain in place as there have been surges of coronavirus cases in other US states which appear to have been driven by the return of indoor dining.
This means that indoor dining at all Atlantic City casinos will be prohibited for the time being.
Almost all US casinos have reopened
In mid-March, almost every single land-based casino in the US temporarily closed, with the exception of 16 small tribal venues, to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
At the time of writing, according to the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) casino tracker, 827 casinos across the US have reopened, while 162 remain closed.
Tribal casinos were among the first venues reopen after exercising their tribal sovereignty to facilitate a phased reopening of venues in various states. When it comes to commercial casinos, casinos in Deadwood, South Dakota, were the last to close and first to reopen on 7 May.