Atlantic City Ready for July 2 Reopening

Jun 25, 2020 12:06Joe Tarzaiski
Atlantic City July 2

Amid the recent closing of Atlantic City casinos due to the Coronavirus pandemic, July 2 will be the end of 106 days of gambling free land-based action in New Jersey. It is a curious topic to see how this will affect online gaming.

It was previously stated by Chris Krafcick, manager of Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, that the virus “will accelerate the expansion of sports betting and online casinos I the next 12 to 24 months. Both activities provide states, whose economies have been massively disrupted by the outbreak, the opportunity to capture new revenue immediately in the form of upfront license fees, and over time through taxes.”

Phil Murphy, Governor of New Jersey, has made this information official and public this week. Racetracks and indoor dining in restaurants will also reopen resuming their business at the same time.

BREAKING: On Thursday, July 2nd: Casinos may be reopen – operating at 25% capacity. Indoor dining may resume – limited at first to 25% capacity,” Murphy tweeted. “Additional health and safety guidance will be released within the next several days.”

Implications on the Garden State with the Reopening

New Jersey is a state that heavily relies on the tax revenue from land-based gambling. COVID-19 has put the state in a difficult position once it became closely evaluated due to the pandemic. Online betting has helped the industry alive but has not shown the strength to fully maintain the state revenue through the past few months.

The Murphy administration has shown concern about the losses through the pandemic, but decisions have been split in two separate directions.

Some are concerned that reopening to quickly will contribute to a spike in a second wave. Atlantic City business owners, however, feel that extending the shutdown will ultimately lead to additional layoffs.

Casinos will initially operate at one-quarter capacity, compared to one-third of one-half in most other states. Masks will be obligatory for guests, as will health screening upon entry.  Due to the limitations of land-based action, online gaming should not feel a large decline in its revenue. Fear from the public will also play a huge factor in showing up in public areas.

With sports due to rejoin our community, sports betting will certainly resume, but a majority of players will most likely continue gaming online.

Comments from Phil Murphy on the Reopening

“If any visitor refuses to comply with these simple safeguards, you will be escorted out of the casino,” Phil Murphy stated. “We are not going to tolerate any knuckleheads trying to ruin it for those who want to enjoy themselves responsibly and those who need to get back to work, especially if those knuckleheads could be spreading COVID.”

Joe Lupo, president of Hard Rock Casino, stated: “We’re delighted to get the reopening date. 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."

“Our air filtration is better than most hospitals. With 85% of our customers being rated, we can provide details on when they played, how long, which beverage servers were in the vicinity, which room they stayed in, where they ate.”

Once major sports resume over the next few weeks, it would be difficult to say the entire land-based and online markets will quickly find their way to begin regaining their financial success.

Joe Tarzaiski
Lady Liberty
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Joe Tarzaiski began his sports writing career in 2004 in the Philadelphia market, analyzing and handicapping professional sports, college sports, poker and various table games. He currently reports on the increased efforts on the legalization and continual growth of sports betting throughout the United States. A Philadelphia University alum, Joe is dedicated to following current trends in both the gaming community and daily news throughout the sports world.
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