Atlantic City’s casinos could reopen by the July 4 weekend after months of closures to curb the advance of the coronavirus, Gov. Phil Murphy said in a Sunday interview.
New Jersey is currently in the first stage of a multi-stage reopening plan that aims to return the state to some form of normalcy amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Gov. Murphy is set to announce the date stage two could begin later today.
During a Sunday appearance on the AC Mike Show with Mike Lopez on WOND, Gov. Murphy said that non-essential retail and outdoor dining businesses are among those he hopes would reopen soon. Casinos could too be included in the state’s next reopening stage.
Atlantic City’s nine operational casino resorts closed doors on March 16. The hotel portions of some of the resorts have reopened since then, but casinos are yet to be given the green light to resume operations.
Gov. Murphy said on Sunday that while he thought it was too early to give a “very specific answer” to when gaming floors will be allowed to reopen, “a lot of work” has been going into this right now.
New Jersey’s top official went on to say that they are “trying like heck to get toward, I hope, before the Fourth of July or at least by Fourth of July.”
Whenever Atlantic City’s casinos resume operations, the experience they will be offering will be different from what patrons are used to. Gov. Murphy did not specify what restrictions casinos would be urged to implement in order to make sure that their staff and customers are protected from being exposed to the dangerous coronavirus.
Casinos around the country that have resumed operations or are about to resume operations are urging patrons to practice social distancing and to wear face masks. Casino staff members are required to wear face masks when on duty.
In additions, most gambling venues have installed plexiglass partitions at table games and slot machines to protect players and employees. Casino properties are also cleaned and sanitized more frequently. Atlantic City’s casinos will probably implement similar measures to ensure the health and safety of players and staff members.
Gov. Murphy said on Sunday that they are “spending a lot of time with the owners and operators as well as the workers and their representatives on casinos.” The Governor elaborated that casinos “have the attributes that are hardest to deal with this virus” as “it’s indoors, no ventilation […] you’re sedentary, you’re in close proximity.”
However, Gov. Murphy expressed confidence that there are successful steps that all involved parties can take to address all the challenges relating to the reopening of the state’s land-based casinos.
The New Jersey Governor talked about the possible reopening of the state’s casinos as Nevada, the other major US gambling hub, is gearing up preparations for the June 4 reopening of its gambling venues.