It’s been months since the casinos in New Jersey closed their doors to the public. Since that time, lawmakers in the state have been working to come up with plans for these gaming venues to safely reopen. Fortunately, NJ casinos have been given permission to open up on July 2nd.
Governor Phil Murphy had been unwilling to offer a specific reopening date for more than two months. It now appears that he’s comfortable with the safety measures that will be set in place inside the state’s casinos. Today, we’re going to discuss what these casinos will look like after they’ve reopened.
Let’s get into it!
How Much Money Has Atlantic City Lost?
Back in May of 2018, the US Supreme Court made the historic decision to remove PASPA. Immediately afterward, every state in the country was given permission to set its own laws on sports betting. It’s been a little over two years since PASPA was removed and more than 20 states now have a legalized, regulated sports gambling industry.
New Jersey was one of the first states to legalize this form of gambling. Before long, all of the casinos in Atlantic City began offering land-based and online sports gambling options. This seems to have brought new life to the city.
Gambling revenue has been steadily increasing in Atlantic City over the years. This past March, however, this money completely stopped flowing in. All NJ casinos were forced to close their doors and the casino companies here began losing millions of dollars every week.
In May, gaming revenue in this state decreased by 65% compared to the same month in 2019. The only money coming in is through the casino’s online gaming platforms. The casino shutdown has also stopped tourism, resulting in an incredible amount of job and revenue loss.
Last week, the NJ State Senate approved a new bill to help those affected by the casino regulations. In reality, however, things won’t begin to truly improve until the casinos here open back up. Lawmakers recognize this fact, and have now set a date for casinos in the state to start accepting guests again.
NJ Casinos Receive Permission to Reopen on July 2nd
Pressure has been mounting on Governor Phil Murphy to lift the restrictions on casinos. Many have been arguing that unless something changes, Atlantic City might never look the same. Murphy held a press conference today and announced that all NJ casinos will be able to open back up at 25% capacity on July 2nd.
This is what everyone wanted to hear. Murphy had previously told the media that the casinos in this state would likely be able to reopen by Fourth of July weekend. Things aren’t going to be quite the same here for some time, though.
Even so, many of the casino owners in this state have expressed their excitement to see the regulations here lifted. Joe Lopo, president of the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, spoke to the media this week about the news.
“We’re delighted to get the reopening date,” Lopo said. “We thank the governor that we’ll be able to be open for the July 4th weekend to meet the demand on the world-famous Atlantic City Boardwalk.”
Strict social distancing measures will be required inside all the casinos in the state. Many of the same restrictions currently set inside Las Vegas casinos will be required here.
Things are certainly beginning to improve here. Restaurants in the state have also been given permission to allow inside dining beginning on July 2nd. We’ll need to wait and see how quickly tourism rates and gaming revenue begin to increase with these restrictions lifted.
Are Some States Looking to Close Casinos Once Again?
States around the country are now beginning to reopen their casino industries. It seemed like rates of Covid-19 were starting to drop quickly. Unfortunately, several states are now beginning to see their infection rates surge.
That includes Florida, which has recently allowed its major casino-resorts to start accepting players again. Some health experts warn that Florida is the next epicenter of the virus in the US. As of now, however, state officials here seem unwilling to discuss lockdown plans once again.
Nevada’s casino industry is now back up and running. Many of the biggest casino-resorts in the state have already reopened. More are set to start operating again over the next couple of weeks.
As of now, infection rates are remaining relatively low in Nevada, and Clark County specifically. It would take an incredibly large outbreak for state officials to close the casinos here again. Many feel the city would be unable to cope with a similar lockdown experienced over the past few months.
NJ casinos are set to open in just a few weeks. This may push lawmakers in New York to reopen their gaming venues, as well. Make sure to stay tuned for updates on this situation as it develops.
Are you excited to see Atlantic City start getting back to normal? Do you plan on visiting this city anytime soon? Let us know in the comments section below!