Back in business
The Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa reopened on July 23 to limited guests, making it the final Atlantic City casino to get back up and running following the pandemic closures. The property, owned by MGM Resorts International, will be admitting the general public beginning on Sunday at 10am.
Extensive health and safety measures are in place at the Borgata in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This includes installing hand washing stations all around the casino floor and plastic dividers separating the dealers and players at table games.
I was so excited to finally get the call.”
Borgata workers are happy to be back, especially considering New Jersey had the second-highest June unemployment rate in the country. Speaking to local media, Jennifer Aarons, the director of recreation services at the Borgata said: “I was so excited to finally get the call. Not just for me but then to finally make the phone calls for my staff.”
The casino is hoping that its sportsbook will see high demand as the MLB, NBA, and NHL seasons are all starting once again.
No indoor dining slowed plans
Casinos in New Jersey were given the green light by Governor Phil Murphy to start reopening on July 2, provided they followed proper health and safety protocols. Eight of the nine casinos in Atlantic CIty reopened their doors on July 2. The Borgata, however, decided to remain closed for another few weeks.
When we got the executive order that we couldn’t have indoor dining, we had to reset.”
The Borgata’s new chief operating officer and president, Melonie Johnson, explained the reasoning behind the delay, saying: “When we got the executive order that we couldn’t have indoor dining, we had to reset. Because we wanted to make sure that whatever we produce for our guests for outdoor dining, it would represent our brand.”
As part of the governor’s restrictions, no food or drink may be served inside casinos and masks usage is mandatory.
A struggling sector
Casinos all across the country were badly affected by the pandemic. Most properties closed during the middle of March on state government orders. While tribal casinos are not obliged to follow these orders, most complied and also shut their facilities.
One of the few bright spots was that the online casinos in New Jersey were still able to operate, with online casino revenue rising 123% year-on-year to nearly $85m in June.