Atlantic City casinos are stepping up to support their employees and a community reeling from the impact of the coronavirus health crisis.
On March 16, Gov. Phil Murphy ordered all land-based AC casinos closed and asked New Jersey residents to stay at home. With little notice, the closures left many employees wondering about their future.
Additionally, the required closures left tons of fresh food on various properties. Without action, the food would have spoiled and been unusable.
Luckily, the casinos had the foresight to reassure their employees and donate fresh food to local nonprofits.
AC casinos provide some assurances and relief to its workers
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reports that there are over 26,000 casino workers in Atlantic City as of March 1.
All nine AC casinos are offering some relief to their workers for the next few months. Of course, the relief package varies by property.
Caesars Entertainment is offering to pay its workers’ salaries for the next two weeks. Caesars owns:
Eldorado Resorts, which operates Tropicana Atlantic City, will also provide two weeks of pay to its employees. Eldorado is scheduled to finalize its purchase of Caesars sometime this year, although the global health crisis may impact the closing date.
Other casinos also paying their employees for two weeks are:
Full-time employees at Golden Nugget Atlantic City are required to use up to 80 hours of their paid time off.
Finally, Ocean Casino Resort will pay its employees through March 26.
The policies were issued at the time of the casinos’ closures when the duration of the shutdown was only weeks.
Now that we are just over a week into the closures and it seems likely to last quite a bit longer, employees will be looking to the casinos for further relief and support.
AC casinos may be closed, but online casinos remain open
The reopening of casinos in AC remains in question as COVID-19 continues to spread. However, online casinos in New Jersey remain operational.
That is good news for land-based retail employees. Online casino revenue is important if the companies are to continue to provide some financial relief to its employees.
Of course, it is not a guarantee that employees will benefit from the continued operation of online casinos. But it will certainly help in the decision-making process.
AC casinos donate to local nonprofits
Supporting their employees is not all the casinos are doing to make the most of an untenable situation.
At the time the closures went into effect, the casinos had large amounts of fresh food on their properties. Left unused, the food would spoil long before the casino doors reopened.
As a result, Atlantic City nonprofit organizations found themselves the recipient of truckloads of food to serve the community’s most vulnerable.
All nine casinos have been making deliveries since their closure. Organizations receiving donations include:
- Community FoodBank of New Jersey
- Turning Point Day Center for the Homeless
- Atlantic City Rescue Mission
- Salvation Army
- Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City
Mayor Marty Small Sr. benefited from the services of the Boys & Girls Club when he was younger and worked there in the past. He praised the casinos for their actions to the Press of Atlantic City.
“This is who Atlantic City is. We’re a supportive community, we’re a resilient community. We come together in a time of crisis.”
Hard Rock takes its role as a member of the community seriously. In addition to the donations, the company is taking to social media to spread positive messages beyond inviting players to its online casino. It hopes to entertain while promoting the stay-at-home message.
Uncertainty remains as coronavirus continues to spread
More postponements, cancellations and lockdowns are making the news as the countries around the world are trying to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Cases in New Jersey are rising. Murphy is said to be angry that residents are not taking the health crisis seriously and are not staying at home.
No question, these are uncertain times. We know one thing for sure, AC casinos will not reopen until COVID-19 is contained.
Please heed the orders from local and state officials and stay at home.