Lights Out: Coronavirus Precautions Force Atlantic City Casinos To Close

Written By Bill Gelman on March 16, 2020

Atlantic City casinos are closing effective at 8 p.m. today.

The Press of Atlantic City reported the news. The precautionary measure is be being taken to minimize the risks surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.

NJ Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to share more details during his 2 p.m. press conference.

Unprecedented public health crisis hits AC casinos

Call this the latest response to the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to impact daily life as we know it.

Earlier today, MGM Resorts International announced it will comply with Gov. Murphy’s order and will temporarily suspend operations at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

Here is the statement from MGM COO and president Bill Hornbuckle:

“This is an unprecedented public health crisis and we must all do our part for the public good and for the good of our employees and communities. We will work hard to mitigate the impacts and will reopen as soon as it is appropriate and safe to do so.”

This means AC’s eight retail sportsbooks are closing, too.

Of course, mobile sports betting is pretty much sidelined as a result of the recent college and pro sports suspensions and cancellations.

The good news is NJ online gambling is expected to be business as usual.

Coronavirus slowing down AC

The coronavirus pandemic is still spreading in the Garden State.

Murphy tweeted over the weekend about the latest numbers, which are changing by the hour.

At this point, no additional details are available.

Prior to today, Atlantic City was taking preliminary steps by canceling entertainment offerings.

This is not an Atlantic City first

This current shutdown may go down as the longest period AC casinos are closed.

But it’s not the first time. In the fall of 2012, Hurricane Sandy resulted in a five-day closure.

Back in 2006, the then 12 casinos were forced to shut down as a result of a state budget impasse.

Las VegasPennsylvaniaNew York and Connecticut are among the other states where casinos are closing.

In terms of how long this current situation will last remains to be seen. For now, the coronavirus seems to be a day-by-day situation.

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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and now NJ sports betting and online gambling.

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