COVID-19 restrictions will soon change in Atlantic City casinos. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently announced changes that will start this weekend and continue within the next few weeks. Starting on May 19, the capacity limits for indoor businesses like casinos, bars, and restaurants will be removed. Indoor venues that offer entertainment with over 1,000 seats will be able to increase capacity to 30%. These changes will allow Atlantic City casinos to welcome more guests including conferences and events.
Bringing Back Conferences, Expos, and Trade Shows
One of the major issues that casino cities like Atlantic City have faced during the pandemic is the lack of conferences and trade shows. Every year, businesses as well as groups host major events which brings in thousands of people to spend money on hotel stays, dining, casino gaming, etc. Without these large groups, the revenue numbers of Atlantic City remain stagnant.
With the new restriction changes, such events will be limited to 250 people and masks will be required indoors. Six-foot social distancing will still apply. Even with the protocols in place, allowing the larger groups of people to gather will help the industry tremendously.
In a press conference, Governor Murphy says officials are confident that the reopening phase can begin as the COVID-19 positive case numbers are trending in the right direction over the past few weeks. In New Jersey, over 3.2 million people have been vaccinated. The state would like to see around 70% of the population that is eligible for the vaccine to have it by this summer.
Ready for Sumer
The changes to the restrictions will come just before Memorial Day Weekend and the summer months. This is a prime season for the casinos in Atlantic City as they usually welcome visitors from throughout New Jersey as well as from across the United States.
Last year, the industry was hit hard due to the closure and then reopening at lower capacity levels. Revenues dropped considerably, with 2020 producing less than 80% of what was earned in 2019. The hope is that 2021 will be a much better year.
The peak season for travel is coming soon and Atlantic City will be ready to welcome guests. But will the restriction changes be enough? Are travelers willing to go to the gambling town or even leave their own state?
It seems people are ready to start traveling again and a large portion of residents in the United States are being vaccinated. Everyone wants to see the country get back to normal after dealing with COVID-19 but are the actions being taken enough? Will we see another large outbreak as restrictions start to ease?
It is unclear as to what will happen now that the restrictions are being lowered in Atlantic City and other areas around the United States. We should see over the next few weeks how the region fares with the restriction changes and if more people travel to Atlantic City to take advantage of conference options, casino gaming, and more.