Atlantic City Casinos Bounce Back As Covid-19 Restrictions Are Lifted

Stephen Abiola
By:
Stephen Abiola
05/12/2021
News
Atlantic City Casinos Bounce Back As Covid-19 Restrictions Are Lifted

As vaccination rates continue to increase in the US, New Jersey has finally decided to lift Covid-19 restrictions and this includes several government regulations that directly affected Atlantic City casinos.

Many of the changes are expected to take place in a few days while others will roll out over the next two weeks as stated by NJ Governor, Phil Murphy.

Starting from May 19, indoor businesses with capacity limits of 50% can take in more people as the capacity limits will be lifted. This includes businesses like casinos, retail stores, bars, restaurants, and spas. On the same day, the capacity limit for indoor entertainment venues with more than a 1,000-seat capacity will be increased to 30%.

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This means people will once again be able to sit at a bar or eat at a buffet (if you feel safe that is).

This is a big win for indoor businesses and services especially for Atlantic City casinos which saw the worst of revenue figures due to the covid-19 pandemic.

As restrictions get lifted, masks will still be mandatory indoors and the six-foot asocial distancing rules still apply.

“Should the CDC revise its 6-foot distancing guidance, we will revise our requirements accordingly,” he said. “My guess is that that 6-foot number will come down.”.

The executive order that would loosen the Covid-19 restrictions on businesses giving them a chance to bounce back was officially signed on Money. This was part of a joint effort with other states such as New York and Connecticut, who also announced similar easements.

“The steps announced today are the most aggressive steps we have taken to reopen to date,” said Murphy. “We feel confident we can do this safely because our numbers have trended decisively in the right direction over the last three weeks.”

Covid-19 Vaccine Plays Key Role In Saving Atlantic City Casinos

The Covid-19 vaccine played a big role in the loosening of restrictions. Over the last couple of months, the US has recorded a massive decline in Covid-19 cases throughout the country. Presently more than 1.2 million people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have received the Covid-19 jab and the state of NJ is looking to ensure that up to 70% of the eligible population gets vaccinated by the summer.

Not just that, the number of Covid cases is also seeing a steady decline. Monday was the first day since October last year with total reported positive cases falling under 1,000. NJ.com also reported that the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients, the rate of infection, and the seven-day average of positive cases are all seeing a much welcomed decline.

Atlantic City Casinos Kissed By Lady Luck

Atlantic City casinos were made to close their doors back on March 16, 2020, due to the rising rate of infections at the time. They later reopened on July 2nd but were under strict running conditions. The shutdown and business restrictions that came after saw profits drop to their lowest in several years with many casinos reporting huge losses.

While the land-based casinos recorded huge losses, online gaming saw a surge in membership. With so many people being locked in their homes, playing online became the only way to go. Luckily, Atlantic City’s nine casinos already had online platforms of their own where players could make wagers right from the comfort of their home.

The growth of online gaming gave casinos the revenue they needed to stay afloat with online sports betting almost reaching the $1 billion mark.

Just last week, local leaders in South Jersey appealed to Murphy to loosen restrictions and limits on meetings, conventions, and trade shows. Atlantic City casinos also showed support for this decision citing that those activities are critical to midweek and offseason business.

This might not be unrelated to the news reports of the Governor loosening restrictions on businesses.