It’s safe to say that it’s been an interesting year for the gambling industry – but we have no doubt it will bounce back soon enough.
2020 has brought a lot of challenges to businesses all around the world, and it hasn’t left any sector in particular untouched. The disruption to daily working routines, the fear of the virus itself and the need to keep workers at home has led to a very difficult year for all sorts of industries. Some have had it easier, mainly those with a digital focus, and some harder, like hospitality.
The gambling industry has succeeded and struggled, both in equal parts. Some gambling companies have found success with their online products, especially those working with sports betting products. Others have struggled more, particularly traditional casinos who rely on physical footfall to make ends meet. Some have already manage to bounce back as restrictions are lifted, others are still sweating it.
One area of the world where gambling is absolutely thriving is New Jersey, specifically in Atlantic City. Before the lockdown and stay at home measures were introduced around the world, Atlantic City was glowing as one of the biggest gambling hubs in America. It has a great casino scene, and a booming online casino scene too, as noted in this article.
It was a great period for Atlantic City, before the coronavirus pandemic began. Atlantic City casinos noted a revenue of $740m from the last 3 months of 2019. This is an enormous figure, and shows a 5.1% increase from 2018’s figures. It’s safe to say that business was booming for Atlantic City casino owners last year. Not so much in March when revenue was down 51% year over year.
To be more specific, Borgata Casino and Hard Rock Atlantic City dominated the competition when it came to revenue in the final quarter of 2019. Ocean Casino Resort also pulled in big numbers – showing a massive improvement from the year before – as did several others in the area. It was an extremely profitable year for casinos, as a whole.
This has, however, all changed in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has left casinos being forced to shut all across the state. Atlantic City’s legendary casino scene has been turned on its head in recent months, which is exactly what we’re here to talk about today.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at Atlantic City’s gaming scene as a whole. We’ll be going over the most important things that casino owners should be considering to keep their staff safe, and what the city can do to bounce back from this pandemic.
Work on creating safe, socially distanced gaming environments
One of the most important things that Atlantic City casinos should be looking to do once the state opens up again is to create safe, socially distanced gaming environments. Customers should be spaced out and kept out of cramped spaces wherever possible. Tables should be spaced out, as should slot machines and ATMs.
Providing adequate safety measures at the door should also be something that Atlantic City casinos look to do when reopening, too. Hand sanitizer, gloves and masks would all be great things for casinos to provide to their customers, just in case the customers don’t have any of their own. Rules about masks would be important to have in place, too.
Limiting the amount of customers in the casino is another point that Atlantic City casinos should be considering. This may be awkward to manage at first, especially in more central locations in the city, but any measures and restrictions should be put in place to protect casino staff and customers wherever possible.
How Casinos can put in measures to keep staff safe so it can bounce back quickly
It’s vital to look after the customers, but it’s also essential to make sure that every single member of staff is kept safe and protected when casinos do re-open. Front of house staff members, bartenders, waiters, cleaners and kitchen staff should all be given adequate PPE to keep them safe in the workplace.
If any staff members are unable to come to work straight away, like those with autoimmune conditions for example, it’s important that the casinos work around this and find ways to keep them in employment while things quieten down. Looking after staff members and promoting a positive work environment is going to be an absolute essential for success this year. We also hope that casinos will be able to rehire many of the Atlantic City employees who were laid off over the last two months.
Look into online gaming options
One thing that casinos in Atlantic City could turn to to improve their successes post-pandemic is online gambling and gaming. As we’ve noted here, New Jersey already has a fantastic online sports betting scene- but to meet the demands of customers in 2020, Atlantic City casinos should look to trade online as well as in person.
To sum up
Generally speaking, it’s clear that there is a big demand for the casinos in Atlantic City. As the numbers at the start of this article show, more people now than ever are looking to gamble in New Jersey. Once the coronavirus pandemic is over, we’re sure to see even more people than ever looking to gamble in the city once again. and by the way, some of the casinos have already started taking reservations once again.
It will be interesting, however, to see how Atlantic City businesses cope with coming back after the pandemic. While there are some great options for bringing in customers and keeping staff safe, it will still be a challenging year for the businesses in New Jersey as a whole. The gambling industry is full of creative minds, though, so we’re sure to see some progress anyway.
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