Atlantic City Casino Reopenings in January 2021

When, oh, when will the Atlantic City casinos be fully open again? 

That is, when can we expect to see things back to normal?

Well, it might be a while it seems. At this time, Covid-19 is still running through New Jersey, and government officials are trying to manage the delicate balance between safety and economic concerns.

Late January full Opening?

Even though, at the time of writing, Covid's spread is leveling off in New Jersey,

Gov. Phil Murphy has extended New Jersey’s public-health emergency through until the end of January. While New Jersey's Covid cases have leveled off in the past week, health officials are still advising to continue the reduced hours at the casino.

“Given where we are currently we must remain in a proper footing where we can have the authority to continue responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic,” the governor said on December 21.

At this point the full opening of the casinos has been postponed at least until the end of January. There has been no promised date of a full re-openning or of plans beyond the current 25% capacity rule (see below).

Current Covid Casino Protocols

As of now, these are the protocols for behavior in the Atlantic City casinos (according New Jersey's Covid-19 Information Hub)

  • Guests and employees will be required to wear masks in all public areas; guests will be asked to briefly lower masks for cage transactions for surveillance coverage purposes.
  • Employees will be screen for fever and COVID-19 symptoms at the beginning of their work shift and guests will be screened by employees through questions about symptoms and possible contact with COVID-19.
  • Promote social distancing and hygiene by establishing spacing and adding appropriate signage.
  • Limit total number of patrons in and around gaming areas of a casino hotel facility to 25 percent of total occupancy limits, not including employees.
  • Cordon off any indoor or outdoor dance floors to the public;
  • Sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the casino hotel complex.
  • Any establishments that serve food or alcohol must comply with the health and safety protocols for indoor and outdoor dining. Effective November 12, food and drinks cannot be served between 10 pm and 5 am, with the exception of room service delivered to guest rooms and takeout.
  • Indoor showrooms and nightclubs are closed.
  • At table games and at gaming machines, there must be one empty position between a single guest and another unrelated guest.
  • Total number of players at a gaming table will be limited (eg, 3 players per blackjack table)
  • All table games must have Plexiglas or glass barriers installed between dealer/game operator and guests.
  • Casinos will adhere to additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • Individuals who are at a casino at a specific time, a specific location, and for a common reason, such as a poker tournament, are subject to the State's gathering limits, currently restricting indoor capacity at 25 people or 25% of a room's capacity.
  • Smoking, including vaping, is prohibited in the indoor areas of casinos, casinos simulcasting facilities, and retail sports wagering lounges, per Administrative Order 2020-19.

What's Ahead?

Vaccines are currently being distributed throughout the U.S. And in fact Atlantic City will play a central role in that distribution. The Atlantic City Convention Center will serve as one of New Jersey's mega coronavirus vaccination sites.

The New Jersey Economic Recovery Act and the Emerge Program Act are both aimed to creating more jobs in New Jersey following long furlows and layoffs. 

 

Sources

"TRANSCRIPT: December 21st, 2020 Coronavirus Briefing"

"Job growth and development will guide Atlantic City’s economic recovery from COVID-19, Mazzeo and Small say"

 


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