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POST CV19 OUTLOOK by Lloyd D Levenson “For the past two decades, Atlantic City has seen its fair share of hurdles. Between a worldwide recession and an increase in multi-state competition, the once touted second largest gaming jurisdiction in the United States has endured a multitude of property closures. Te city that once donned the slogan “Always Turned On,” is a city that should be known as “Always Turning On”.


For the fifth time since casino gambling became available in 1978, Atlantic City was forced to shut its doors. On 16 March Governor Phil Murphy ordered the indefinite closure of the city’s nine casino properties – Bally’s, Borgata, Caesars, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock, Harrah’s, Ocean, Resorts and Tropicana - in addition to other non-essential businesses statewide. At that time in New Jersey, the most densely populated state, there were only 178 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with three reported deaths.


Trough the next three months, Covid-19 took the lives of over 14,000 New Jerseyans with more than 175,000 confirmed cases. By the beginning of July, the daily cases in New Jersey had whittled to under 400, while implementing a statewide mask mandate.


On July 2 with restaurants forced to feature only outdoor dining and other non-essential businesses slowly being permitted to reopen, Governor Murphy allowed casinos to reopen; with the Division of Gaming Enforcement, under the steady leadership of Director David Rebuck, providing strict guidelines in line with CDC and State protocols. Most notably, Governor Murphy permitted the casinos to open at a maximum 25 per cent capacity,


however, prohibiting casino food and beverage service, and even prohibiting smoking in all properties.


When attempting to enter a casino, guests are not only required to adhere to the statewide mask mandate, they will also be greeted by employees who will ask standard screening questions including:


l Do you currently have a fever?


experienced symptoms related to Covid-19? l


14 days that tested positive for Covid-19?


While each casino has implemented similar protocols, some casinos have gone beyond State requirements and have installed more novel temperature and cleansing devices to ensure the safety of all guests and employees.


Once admitted into one of the nine casinos, slots will look quite different. Tere is a mandatory open seat policy between gamblers at slot machines, or an open seat between a group of three related people. Additionally, table games has its own set of safety protocols. Plexi-glass barriers separate a maximum of three players at blackjack tables and a maximum of four per roulette table. Eight players is the limit at all craps tables, with dice sanitised for each new shooter. Despite the 25 per cent capacity requirement on the casino floor, the hotels are full, as they are permitted to open at maximum capacity. Moreover, guests will be unable to decline housekeeping services in order to ensure cleanliness. All in all, Atlantic City has “Turned Back On.”


Despite the 25 per cent capacity requirement on the casino floor, the hotels are full, as they are permitted to open at maximum capacity. Moreover, guests will be unable to decline housekeeping services in order to ensure cleanliness. All in all, Atlantic City has “Turned Back On.”


l Do you currently have or in the last 14 days Have you been in contact with anyone in the last


Gambling GGR data 2019 Casinos: Slots:


Table gaming: Lottery:


Sports betting: Online gambling:


$3.47bn $1.92bn $764.7m


$3.48bn (sales) $299.3m $482.7m


NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA P57


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