On March 21, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued a Stay at Home order. This order was put in place to protect the public due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. At this time, casinos were shut down as they are considered non-essential businesses. As the order is being lifted, many are wondering when casinos will reopen once again. Murphy has taken a slow, phased approach to get the state operational and has hinted just a short time ago that casinos may reopen by or around July 4. Now, it seems the governor is stating that it might be even earlier when casinos open their doors.
The governor has lifted the order, with retail stores reopening next week. Social distancing must take place. Outdoor dining is also being allowed, with casinos like Resort expected to offer outdoor dining via existing restaurants. As of July 6, outdoor graduation ceremonies can take place. For indoor religious services, the state is allowed to resume immediately.
As the Governor announced these changes, he was asked by reporters about casinos and indoor dining at the gaming facilities. The reporter asked if such services might be allowed sooner. According to Murphy, they are working to get the casinos and indoor dining facilities operational. He does not have a definite answer on if indoor dining will be open at casinos, but he would probably say yes and he hopes sooner than later.
After Murphy announced a few days ago that casinos could be ready by July 4, it seems the relaunch date might be sooner. The rapid pace at which reopening’s of other venues are taking place along with Murphy’s answer to the reporter’s question suggests that the process may occur sooner.
Reopening at the Right Time
Opening back up in early July would be crucial for the gaming market in New Jersey. The time period is always busy in the region due to the holiday. Tourism is usually exceptionally high at this time and the casinos are able to reap the rewards from offering casino gaming, dining, and other entertainment options.
The casinos in Atlantic City have lost hundreds of millions in revenues after being closed for almost three months. By reopening during a common busy time period, the brands should be able to recoup some of what has been lost.
Of course, the recovery process will take more time than what can be earned during the Fourth of July weekend. The casinos will be able to earn much-needed revenues and hopefully begin to get back on track if opening back up during a normally busy weekend.
What is still up for questioning is whether the casinos will see heavy foot traffic. Will consumers be ready to go back to the Boardwalk casinos? We will wait over the next few weeks to see what information is provided and if the casinos will be reopened by early July or if there may be an even longer wait for those who want to gamble.