While the casino gaming floors remain indefinitely closed, some NJ casinos continue to take reservations for hotel rooms beginning as early as next week.
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is making room reservations for as early as May 28. According to their websites, Caesars, Tropicana, and Resorts Casino Hotel are reserving rooms beginning on June 7. The Ocean Hotel and Casino canceled all reservations up to June 14, but the Ocean is taking reservations online beginning June 15.
A spokesperson pointed out that the Hard Rock never stopped taking room reservations. Rather, re-evaluated the situation every week as to whether it could honor reservations based on Governor Murphy’s ongoing restrictions. However, Hard Rock does not plan to reopen the hotel rooms before the casino can fully reopen.
Richard Broome, a spokesperson for Caesars, indicated that Caesars will reopen whenever Governor Murphy allows it. The availability of future reservations is part of Caesars plan to ensure they have a business when they are allowed to reopen.
“The date doesn’t indicate that we have any insight into the actual re-opening date,” Broome said.
The Atlantic City Hotels Technically Were Not Closed
While technically, hotels have been allowed to remain open under Governor Phil Murphy’s restrictions, however, most casino hotels completely closed on March 16.
However, not all casino hotels are as assertive with their planned reopenings. For example, the Borgata’s online reservation system doesn’t allow room reservations to be made earlier than July 1.
“The casinos will be well prepared to welcome back their customers and employees at the appropriate time. Health and safety of everyone are foremost in their plans,” James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, said.
The governor has not indicated when he plans to lift the restrictions on casinos. However, a few hotels have announced plans to reopen while keeping customers safe. And gamblers can’t wait to return to casinos. Their safety measures include more cleaning and contactless check-in.
Atlantic City Beaches are Open, with Restrictions
Governor Murphy did reopen the boardwalk and beaches beginning May 22, for the beginning of Memorial Day Weekend. However, the administration is requiring that beachgoers remain six feet apart. Furthermore, beachgoers can not socialize with anyone outside of their romantic partners or immediate household.
Most beaches will have lifeguards so it’s assumed swimming is allowed, however, restaurants remain takeout only and amusements remained closed. Anywhere you go, you also need to social distance. And Governor Phil Murphy wants you to wear a mask even on the beach.
“Wearing face covering or a mask is not required but it is a vitally important, additional protection measure for you and others against the spread of COVID-19. This is especially true in places where social distancing is not as possible, like going for a slice of pizza on the boardwalk or in a restroom,” he said.
Gambling Revenue Crashes During COVID-19 Lockdown
For Atlantic City casinos, April 2020 was the worst month ever despite record online gains. The revenue at Atlantic City’s nine casinos fell nearly 69% in April compared to the same month a year earlier. In spite of online gaming revenue skyrocketing, data shows it wasn’t enough to offset the huge losses when brick-and-mortar casinos were shut down.
Atlantic City’s casinos’ gross profits fell by more than 65% in the first quarter of 2020, according to figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
These numbers only include the first two weeks of casino closures due to the coronavirus shutdown. However, second-quarter revenues are sure to be even worse, due to the casinos being closed for the full month of April. So far in May, there is still no reopening date set. Fortunately, New Jersey’s robust online gaming and sports betting platforms have made up some of the shortfalls.