In early July, every casino in Atlantic City was back to work except the Borgata. The venue decided to delay its reopening in order to ensure a quality visitor experience. On July 24, the casino offered an invite-only event, with employees going through the paces so that the actual reopening to the full public would go off without a hitch. On July 26, the casino was back to work, with new measures in place to keep the public and employees safe. The casino was closed down for over four months due to the coronavirus pandemic, suffering major losses and employees being out of work.
Reopening with Safety Measures in Place
Visitors to the Borgata were welcomed to a different experience when arriving on-site. The casino had set up a welcome area, where players had to walk through, and their temperature was taken via a special scanner. Guests must also wear a mask when entering the property and while remaining on-site. The welcome area was used to ensure anyone coming inside was fever free and taking the appropriate precaution of covering their mouth and nose.
If someone approached the entry without a face mask, the casino provided one. Anyone refusing to wear a mask will not be allowed inside. Once in the casino, players found social distancing measures in place. The table games have plexiglass partitions so that players are spaced from each other and the dealer.
On the gaming floor, hand washing stations have been installed so players can clear their hands as frequently as they would like. The handwashing stations come complete with running water and sinks as well as soap and paper towels.
For employees, similar measures are in place. Face masks must be worn along with temperature checks and questions about health, including the employee has been around someone with the virus or someone that has been tested.
Now that the Borgata is reopened, all casinos in Atlantic City are back to work. Over the coming months, it is expected that the casinos will continue to operate at 25% capacity. This will not change unless there is a drastic decrease in the number of Covid-19 cases in the state. The local positive cases will also be considered.
By September, we should have a clearer picture as to what the casino industry is earning. August will be the first full month that all nine casinos will be reporting earnings. The numbers are expected to be low as the capacity numbers are much lower than normal plus table games and slots are restricted.
If the virus continues to be a major issue across the US, then it could be quite some time before we see casino gaming get back to normal in Atlantic City as well as in the entire country. Hopefully, casinos will be able to earn enough to stay afloat, helping employees get back to work and avoid layoffs and furloughs.