While the Atlantic City sportsbooks are open for the NFL season, the lingering COVID-19 restrictions have dampened enthusiasm. Social distancing guidelines, mask mandates, 25% capacity limits, and no food or drink on the gaming floors have essentially eliminated the usual packed house of enthusiastic crowds.
If you plan to visit any one of the Atlantic City sportsbooks, don’t be surprised to see missing chairs or roped off areas all over the casinos.
With the fall and winter sports betting season upon us, Atlantic City sportsbooks are following the governor’s guidelines with an abundance of caution. Like the casino floors, both employees and customers must follow the state ordered mandates.
While it looks and feels different at the Atlantic City sportsbooks, the betting remains the same.
The New Rules for Atlantic City Sportsbooks
For bettors visiting the Atlantic City sportsbooks, there are a few rules to be expected, including:
- Masks are required in all public spaces, including sportsbooks and casinos. The only allowable exception is when eating or drinking; however, eating and drinking may not be allowed in some sportsbooks.
- Social distancing is also mandated, so expect to see signs and floor arrows around kiosks and betting windows.
- Seating is limited to just 25% capacity, so expect to see sports lounge seats roped off or removed.
- Betting windows could also be closed or roped off, but kiosks are available 24/7.
Keep in mind, each sportsbook will also have its own rules in place. For example, reservations may be required at some sportsbooks.
The William Hill Atlantic City Sportsbooks
The William Hill sportsbook at the Ocean Casino Resort will remain open until midnight on Sundays, so that NFL bettors won’t miss any of the action, or have to wait for the winning payout. Also, cocktails will be served at the William Hill sportsbook at the ocean.
Also, standing at the bar at the William Hill sportsbooks at Harrah’s and the Wild Wild West casinos is not permitted. Moreover, only seated bettors will be served drinks.
While William Hill bettors can reserve seats online for the NFL season, there will be far fewer seats available.
Resorts DraftKings Sportsbook
The DraftKings sportsbook at Resorts was considered to be the best place to watch the game and bet in Atlantic City. But Resorts has implemented its Play Safe, Work Safe plan, requiring guests to go through a temperature checkpoint before they can enter the property, including the DraftKings sportsbook.
Also, while the DraftKings sportsbook normally can host 400 guests, Resorts must limit that capacity to only 100 people, to comply with state mandates. There will be around40 seats available for reservation, but most seats are now on a first-come, first-served basis. However, the 18 DraftKing betting kiosks are open 24/7. Visitors can also use the DraftKings or Fox Bet NJ apps.
Food and drink are part of the fun at Atlantic City sportsbooks, and the DraftKings sports bar is reopening, but with limited seating and hours. Unfortunately, the food menu is not available until the current restrictions are lifted. However, visitors to Resorts can still enjoy the dining options available at the property.
The Hard Rock Sportsbook
The Hard Rock’s Safe + Sound coronavirus protocols are in place at the sportsbook, so don’t be surprised to find extremely limited seating. Normally, the 3,800-square-foot sportsbook only has 50 seats, so with the 25% capacity, that is reduced to around a dozen. The seats at the Hard Rock are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Moreover, Hard Rock bettors may have to grab a bite at other Hard Rock dining options, as food is not available at the sportsbook. However, the bar should be open.
If the Hard Rock sportsbook counter is closed, winning tickets can be cashed out at the casino cage.
The BetMGM Sportsbook at the Borgata
Governor Murphy’s announcement that indoor dining in New Jersey could resume was good news for Borgata and at the BetMGM Sportsbook and Bar.
While the BetMGM betting windows reopened along with the Borgata casino in late July, the sports bar kitchen remained closed. But now, the sports bar is once again serving food and drinks from lunch through closing. However, seating is limited to 25% capacity, making reservations highly recommended. Sports bar guests can view the menu on their mobile devices and use a QR code to order.
Also, the Borgata is following the seven-point health and safety plan all employees and guests at MGM-owned across the country must follow.
While the BetMGM sportsbook at the Borgata is open, bets can be placed using the BetMGM sportsbook app, which may be more comfortable than standing in a socially-distanced line.
As of this writing, the Atlantic City sportsbooks at Bally’s and Harrah’s are still closed. But that could change, before the end of the NFL season.