Atlantic City casinos reopening soon, to the delight of gamblers in both New Jersey and New York City. Both the Garden State and the Big Apple across the river are poised to reopen as coronavirus cases continue to decline.
New York Entering Phase 1 Reopening
New York’s Governor Cuomo is preparing for New York City to enter Phase 1 of reopening; that means 400,000 unemployed or those working from home can return to the city. On the other hand, Upstate New York now has the Governor’s permission to move into Phase 2; that means people can go back to their office jobs at 50% occupancy. Also, retail stores can reopen, including also hair salons. However, hair stylists and salon workers need to be tested for the coronavirus twice a week. Governor Cuomo has said these decisions are all based on scientific data.
“There will come a point when the number of deaths can’t get any lower; this is because people will die of something else, and coronavirus is very good at affecting people who have other illnesses. The reduction in the number of deaths is huge progress,” noted Governor Cuomo.
Are Atlantic City Casinos Reopening Soon?
Across the river in New Jersey, beaches and marinas are already open. Governor Murphy is now hopeful Atlantic City casinos reopening will be the next step. Atlantic City casinos reopening by July 4th is possible as long as safety parameters are in place. The safety measures include daily employee temperature checks and mandatory wear masks.
Governor Murphy says he’s ‘working like heck’ to reopen Atlantic City casinos to revive the state’s gambling industry. Atlantic City casinos reopening could recoup some of the tens of millions in revenue lost since Mid-March.
Governor Murphy has announced the state will enter Stage 2 of the reopening on June 15. This involves in-person retail shopping and outdoor dining with limited seating. On June 22, beauty salons and barbershops can reopen, as well as gyms and health clubs.
The governor had previously announced that child daycare centers can reopen on June 15 and outdoor, non-contact sports, such as tennis, can begin on June 22. Finally, youth day camps can open on July 6, with restrictions.
However, Governor Murphy was noncommital when it came to Atlantic City casinos reopening, only saying he was “hopeful” the casinos could reopen with restrictions by July 4. The good news for the state’s gamblers, is horse racing has resumed.
The governor is emphatic that both businesses and customers adhere to the Department of Health guidance; which includes wearing masks and social distancing. He also emphasized all these are steps in the right direction as “we find our new normal.”
“As we reopen, we know there is a greater chance of transmitting COVID-19. There is no cure. There is no vaccine. There is no proven therapeutic. The only cure is personal responsibility,” Governor Murphy said. “Safety will be our number one priority.”
Murphy Says Atlantic City Casinos Reopening is “Complicated”
During a June 4 press conference, Murphy said that attempting to safeguard the public in either an indoor or group setting has proven to be more “complicated” than he thought. Unfortunately, indoor group settings include the Atlantic City casinos.
While Murphy did allude to a July 4 reopening for Atlantic City’s casinos, Murphy said on June 7 that the casinos’ expansive indoor spaces would allow for more social distancing and thus, make it easy for casinos to reopen. But the complicated part, according to Murphy is they’re still inside spaces, and trap the virus in an indoor setting. To the Governor, no matter what the size of an indoor setting, it is still complicated.
Other complicated and problematic indoor settings include shopping malls, indoor dining, and museums.
While Governor Murphy has set forth a schedule for reopening other parts of the state’s economy, the governor says that businesses that don’t have a specific reopening date should expect to reopen “sooner rather than later.” Retail merchants, restaurants, and of course, the casinos, continue to demand answers from the governor.