The answer finally came on June 22, more than three months after the casinos shut down. Casinos will reopen on July 2.
But news happens fast as New Jersey moves from Stage 1 to Stage 2 to Stage 3 in its restart plan. The Road Back is a long one but things can change in a day.
So as information develops via Twitter or other outlets, we will update the details here.
We will be updating this article as information comes in. The updates are timed based on when we find them, not when they were issued. Here is what we know right now.
Reopening New Jersey racetracks and Atlantic City casinos
July 14 Updates
12 p.m. — Borgata AC to reopen to the public on July 26
After delaying its opening before the Fourth of July holiday, Borgata casino finally sets its reopening plans and July 26 is the big day.
However, just like with the other AC casinos reopening on July 2, Borgata’s reopening will feature a few changes on its property, including:
- Limited capacity for hotel rooms and suites.
- No poker during this first phase of reopening.
- Every other slot machine will be disabled.
- No indoor dining, smoking or drinking, but outdoor eating and take-out options are available.
- No valet parking.
The Race & Sports Book will reopen, but as with all public areas in the casino, a 25% capacity limit will be in effect.
All that being said, welcome back to the show, Borgata!
There’s no place like this place.✨ We're excited to announce our public reopening on July 26. We are ready to get back to doing the things we love most. We can't wait to welcome you back to Borgata, safely. Learn more: https://t.co/ytzbYcdWQH pic.twitter.com/geBsqxIsqn
— BORGATA (@BorgataAC) July 14, 2020
July 13 Updates
4 p.m. — Governor lifts capacity limits for NJ Transit
During a press conference, Gov. Phil Murphy once again stressed the importance of wearing masks, but he also noted that New Jersey is in Stage 2 of its restart. While casinos are open again, indoor dining and other businesses remain closed. And still others will continue to operate with capacity limitations.
Right now, we’re paused in Stage 2 of our restart.
I want us to be able to reopen more businesses, and to get to Stage 3 and beyond.
We cannot do that unless we keep up with wearing face coverings, keeping a social distance, and getting tested.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) July 13, 2020
However, Murphy did sign an executive order that lifts the 50% capacity limit on NJ Transit buses, trains, and light rail. This is good news for anyone making their way to Atlantic City.
NEW: Today I'm signing an Exec Order:
☑️Lifting the 50% capacity limits currently enforced on @NJTRANSIT and private-carrier buses, trains, light rail vehicles, and Access Link vehicles
☑️Requiring face coverings in all NJ TRANSIT and private-carrier indoor stations pic.twitter.com/rNqmxiRPQn
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) July 13, 2020
2:30 p.m. — Ocean Casino reopens its three pools in Atlantic City
It’s hot out and there’s a beach nearby, but on July 11, Ocean Casino Resort reopened its three swimming pools on property including the Boardwalk Pool.
— Ocean Casino Resort (@TheOceanAC) July 11, 2020
10 a.m. — Reopened casinos revel in July Fourth holiday return
It’s been almost two weeks since Atlantic City casinos (sans Borgata) reopened to the public. Caesars enjoyed its return on July 3 when all three of its gambling halls reopened. The sportsbooks at Bally’s and Harrah’s, however, remain closed.
The holiday weekend was a hit for most of the casinos, too. The Press of Atlantic City reported that the Fourth of July could’ve “easily been mistaken for the start of any other big holiday weekend from summers past” if it weren’t for the face masks and signs reminding visitors to keep their distance.
AC casinos continue to push health, safety, and COVID-19 social distancing protocols on their social media channels.
A friendly reminder from the Ocean team:
— Ocean Casino Resort (@TheOceanAC) July 13, 2020
Disinfection in just 100 seconds with 99.9% efficacy: introducing our installation of @PurpleSun_Inc’s mobile Focused Multivector UV light technology – the only one in any AC casino! pic.twitter.com/5AcaFpCLWC
— Resorts Casino Hotel (@ResortsCasino) July 11, 2020
July 2 Updates
12:30 p.m. — Caesars Atlantic City ready to reopen July 3
Caesars three properties (Bally’s, Harrah’s and Caesars) in Atlantic City are set to reopen Friday. Caesars AC casino’s doors open at 10 a.m.
And in case guests were unsure about masks, take a close look at the photo in the tweet below. Caesars himself is wearing a mask.
We are one day away from our grand reopening day! Are you ready to live it up #LikeACaesar? Doors open on Friday at 10 a.m.
— Caesars AC (@CaesarsAC) July 2, 2020
11:13 a.m. – Ocean Casino Resort cuts the ribbon, again
Welcome home! 🎉🙌🌊
We are thrilled to officially reopen our doors and kick off today’s celebration with a ribbon cutting and warm welcome by CEO, Terry Glebocki. #TheOceanAC #ACleanHandIsAWinningHand pic.twitter.com/io9I4okyzB
— Ocean Casino Resort (@TheOceanAC) July 2, 2020
8 a.m. — Five of the nine Atlantic City casinos are officially reopened!
This morning, Hard Rock AC, Resorts, Tropicana, Golden Nugget and Ocean Casino Resort reopened to the public after 100-plus days of being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Caesars properties including Harrah’s and Bally’s will reopen to the public Friday.
— Hard Rock Atlantic City (@HardRockHCAC) July 2, 2020
Tropicana AC has reopened and we can’t wait to see you again. Rest assured that we have gone above and beyond to ensure your safety, comfort and peace of mind. When you’re ready, we are here for you. #WelcomeHome #TogetherWeWin
FAQ & Health & Safety: https://t.co/VOhl6gK6iS pic.twitter.com/MaNfxhcOV7
— Tropicana AC (@TropicanaAC) July 2, 2020
Summer begins NOW! We are officially open and so excited to welcome you back! pic.twitter.com/0wU5oFU8D0
— Resorts Casino Hotel (@ResortsCasino) July 2, 2020
June 30 Updates
12:05 p.m. — Ocean Casino Resort is still reopening on July 2 at 8 a.m.
Ocean Casino joins Resorts, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock, and Tropicana in reopening on July 2. The three Caesars properties — Caesars, Bally’s and Harrah’s — will open July 3.
Ocean Casino Resort will open on Thursday at 8:00 AM. We look forward to seeing you! pic.twitter.com/pnehRf6Btt
— Ocean Casino Resort (@TheOceanAC) June 30, 2020
11:30 a.m. — William Hill confirms reopening its NJ sportsbooks on July 2
In a tweet, William Hill NJ announced that it still planned to reopen its three sportsbooks in the state.
William Hill has two sportsbooks in Atlantic City (at Tropicana and Ocean Casino) and another in Oceanport at Monmouth Park.
— William Hill New Jersey (@WilliamHillNJ) June 30, 2020
The NJ sportsbook operator also has its own health and safety protocols that it will implement in each sportsbook. The plan includes:
- Supervisors to regularly sanitize kiosks and chairs
- Ticket writer to regularly sanitize the counter
- All staff to wear masks and gloves
- Plexiglass sneeze guards to be in place at the counter
- Sportsbook to be deep cleaned daily
- Employees to clean workstation regularly, including related equipment
- Sanitizer stations available throughout the Sportsbook
- Every other betting station open
- Physical distancing intervals to be marked for ticket window and kiosk queues
- Seats, tables, carrels and/or booths to be reconfigured or reserved/removed to allow for appropriate physical distancing
11 a.m. — Hard Rock, Golden Nugget wait for details from the governor
Two more Atlantic City casinos provided statements in response to the governor’s decision to halt indoor dining in New Jersey. However, neither Hard Rock AC nor Golden Nugget hinted at any change in their reopening plans.
Here is Joe Lupo, president of Hard Rock:
“We are waiting for details from Governor Murphy’s Executive Order before updating our guests and team members on business operations. We are disappointed that we cannot provide the experience our guests expect and deserve, as our brand has always excelled at prioritizing a premium guest experience. We are confident our enhanced ‘Safe + Sound’ protocols are a responsible approach to safely opening our property and bringing our team members back to work.”
And Tom Pohlman of Golden Nugget sent this via its social media:
“As many of you have already heard, Governor Murphy just delayed the opening of indoor dining indefinitely. In addition, we just received word that casinos will not be allowed to serve alcohol inside the casino (which would include any indoor bars). All of the casino operators are in the same boat and are still waiting for official guidelines in regards to reopening. Since this will impact the Chairman’s Club, and all other indoor dining, I wanted to let everyone know personally, and as soon as practical. This is a very fluid situation and we continue to adapt as we receive new information. In the meantime, please feel free to respond with any questions you might have surrounding reopening, and I will do my best to answer given the information I have at this time. Please be patient and bear with us during these unprecedented times.”
Murphy is scheduled to talk again today at 1 p.m. ET.
June 29 Updates
4:30 p.m. — Borgata AC cancels reopening plans
In response to Gov. Murphy’s decision to hold off on reopening indoor dining on July 2, Borgata decided to not reopen on July 6 as planned. Here is the statement from MGM Resorts International:
We respect the Governor’s decision to postpone the reopening of indoor dining in New Jersey to protect the public. Given this decision, our property Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City will remain closed. Our guests expect a special experience when they come to our property and if we cannot provide that level of hospitality, we feel it best that we remain closed until such time that the Governor lets us know it is safe to offer food and beverage. The health and safety of our employees and guests are at the center of all that we do, and we regret that, at this time, we are unable to welcome back the thousands of employees who are anxious to return to work. We look forward to a time when it is safe to welcome everyone back.
Borgata was the only Atlantic City casino to decide to open after July Fourth. And so far they are the only property to cancel any reopening due to Murphy’s announcement from earlier.
The AC casino’s planned soft reopening for invited guests is also canceled and will be rescheduled.
3 p.m. — Governor confirms Atlantic City casinos will reopen on July 2
During today’s press conference, Murphy announced indoor dining will not resume on July 2. When asked if casinos are still reopening this week, he confirmed it was still a green light for Atlantic City:
“Casinos will reopen on limited capacity on July 2.”
As far as indoor dining being delayed, here is the reason why:
UPDATE: INDOOR DINING WILL NO LONGER RESUME ON THURSDAY.
We had planned to loosen restrictions this week. However, after #COVID19 spikes in other states driven by, in part, the return of indoor dining, we have decided to postpone indoor dining indefinitely.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 29, 2020
Stay tuned for what this means for AC casinos.
June 26 Updates
5:15 p.m. —Resorts shares a video explaining how the Play Safe, Work Safe plan will work
We can’t wait to welcome you back. The safety of our guests and our team members is our top priority. Here are the steps we are taking to ensure you have a fun and safe visit to Resorts. Watch now: https://t.co/8Zna4XvWfi pic.twitter.com/w2Bfm0C2Zi
— Resorts Casino Hotel (@ResortsCasino) June 26, 2020
12:53 p.m. — Three Caesars Entertainment properties reopening in time for Fourth of July weekend
Bally’s, Caesars, and Harrah’s Resort will all reopen to guests at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 3. Caesars Entertainment announced the news via a press release.
Ron Baumann, regional president for Caesars Entertainment, Atlantic City region, shares his thoughts:
“We are thrilled to welcome back both our team members and customers to Bally’s, Caesars, and Harrah’s Resort and look forward to creating more memories together,” said Baumann. “The well-being of our team members and guests is important to us, and we are focused on enhancing our health and safety protocols to provide an enjoyable guest experience that emphasizes social distancing and cleanliness.
“Whether you plan to visit us on the world-famous Atlantic City Boardwalk, or enjoy the sophisticated setting of the Marina District, our resorts offer a great travel escape for guests this summer — especially for those living within drive-time of the Jersey Shore, who can visit us on a tank of gas, without the flight.”
The plans include reduced capacity at all hospitality offerings and restaurants in adherence with social distancing policies.
June 25 Updates
1:30 p.m. — COVID-19 guidelines for Atlantic City casinos ‘still pending,’ says Murphy
In his daily press briefing, Gov. Phil Murphy and the state Department of Health commissioner said the guidance will be “out soon” for casinos and indoor dining.
“They’ll be out soon. It’s very complicated and it’s one of the largest guidance we are doing,” commented commissioner Judi Persichilli.
.@GovMurphy & @NJDeptofHealth Commissioner said Atlantic City casino COVID-19 guidelines are “still pending.” The state has been in possession of industry and property-specific health/safety plans for several weeks.@CasinosNJ
— David Danzis (@ACPressDanzis) June 25, 2020
This leaves AC casinos still in limbo, for lack of a better word, with a week to go before reopening. However, most properties in Atlantic City have safety plans and procedures in place or being installed.
10:01 a.m. — Tropicana confirms July 2 reopening
Tropicana Atlantic City customers can start counting down to 8 a.m. July 2.
We are excited to open our doors on 7/2/2020 at 8am EST. We are working w/ public health officials & regulators to take safety & cleaning standards to the highest level. Cheers to exciting times, unforgettable experiences, & to seeing you again. #bettertogether #togetherwewin pic.twitter.com/wTfEln1elD
— Tropicana AC (@TropicanaAC) June 25, 2020
June 24 Updates
4 p.m. — Caesars announces universal mask policy at all properties
In a press release, Caesars Entertainment added to its overall health and safety plan with this advisement: Starting June 24, masks will be required at all properties for guests and employees while indoors. The only exception is when employees and guests are eating or drinking.
This is a change from originally requiring only employees plus guests at table games to wear masks.
“We promised that Caesars would continue to evaluate the latest recommendations, directives and medical science regarding the COVID-19 public health emergency and modify our enhanced health and safety protocols accordingly,” said Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars Entertainment. “… The scientific evidence strongly suggests that wearing masks and practicing social distancing may be the most important deterrents to spreading COVID-19 from person to person.”
Caesars owns three casinos in Atlantic City including Bally’s, Harrah’s and Caesars.
1:13 p.m. — Gov. Phil Murphy provides NJ Transit update
Atlantic City visitors who travel to and from Atlantic City via light rail will have more time options next month.
NEW: @NJTRANSIT rail and light rail service will return to its full weekday schedule on Monday, July 6th. 🚉
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 24, 2020
June 23 Updates
4:13 p.m. — Golden Nugget announces July 2 reopening
WELCOME BACK GOLDEN GUESTS!
We're excited to announce we will reopen next Thur 7/2! View updates on your Tier Status, Comp Dollars, Cashback and more: https://t.co/HT62YL2yWH pic.twitter.com/g1Lb3Xn35u
— Golden Nugget AC (@goldennuggetac) June 23, 2020
1 p.m. — Atlantic City Boardwalk pier will reopen July 2 too
In his press briefing, Gov. Murphy announced that outdoor amusement parks will reopen at 50% capacity. Those rides include the Boardwalk pier.
NEW: On Thursday, July 2nd, the following can REOPEN:
🎢Outdoor amusement parks
🌊Outdoor water parks
This INCLUDES the rides on our boardwalks. Specific guidance is currently being finalized and will be forthcoming. pic.twitter.com/aXYfr6S5Yk
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 23, 2020
11 a.m. — Monmouth, Meadowlands cleared for opening to the public at limited capacity
In his Monday briefing, Gov. Murphy gave the all-clear for New Jersey’s three racetracks (Monmouth, Meadowlands and Freehold Raceway) to reopen to the public.
“Our race tracks will be able to reopen for in-person bets, including at their sportsbooks and lounges, as long as they abide by applicable gathering limits,” Murphy said.
However, details about how many NJ sports betting and horse racing fans will actually be allowed in the tracks’ facilities will be available in the coming days by Murphy’s administration. Since the announcement came the same day as the news AC casinos would reopen at 25% capacity, it is likely the capacity limits at NJ racetracks will be fairly similar.
10 a.m. — Borgata announces July 6 reopening
The MGM-owned Borgata sent out a press release Tuesday morning announcing the Marina District property will reopen to the general public at 10 a.m. Monday, July 6. The Borgata will be hosting an invitation-only event prior to the public event.
The amenity offerings initially will be limited with plans to open additional venues in the coming weeks and months.
There’s no place like this place.✨We’re excited to announce our reopening on July 6. We are ready to begin creating new #BorgataAC experiences together. We can’t wait to welcome you back to Borgata, safely. Learn more: https://t.co/XaxmopResR pic.twitter.com/6h8NpowxE7
— BORGATA (@BorgataAC) June 23, 2020
June 22 Updates
3:30 p.m. — Ocean Casino’s iconic rooftop ball to countdown to reopening
Beginning June 22 at dusk through July 1, Ocean Casino Resort will count down the days to reopening via its iconic rooftop ball.
2:45 p.m. — Murphy addresses Atlantic City casino reopening during press conference
Like other phases in New Jersey’s reopening plans, safety measures will be in place to protect customers and employees. And as far as casinos go, knuckleheads are not invited:
Casinos will be permitted to open on July 2nd at 25% capacity.
If any visitor refuses to comply with our simple safeguards, they'll be escorted out.
We’re not going to tolerate any knuckleheads trying to ruin it for those who wish to enjoy themselves responsibly.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 22, 2020
11 a.m. — Atlantic City casinos are reopening July 2!
At long last, New Jersey casinos will reopen July 2 at 25% capacity.
Gov. Murphy announced the news via Twitter this morning ahead of his scheduled daily press conference:
BREAKING: On Thursday, July 2nd:
🎰Casinos may reopen – operating at 25% capacity
🍽️Indoor dining may resume – limited at first to 25% capacity
Additional health and safety guidance will be released within the next several days. pic.twitter.com/b4jY2fR3sp
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 22, 2020
The good news has been three months in the making, with many worrying about the timeline and the tough road ahead for NJ casinos. The city’s two newest casinos and its oldest were quick to react on social media:
The wait is finally over! We are excited to announce that we will be reopening on July 2.
Stay tuned for more details. pic.twitter.com/q7WPNNHkZs
— Hard Rock Atlantic City (@HardRockHCAC) June 22, 2020
Yo! Are you ready to roll?🎲🎲 pic.twitter.com/fbHgIBHEVg
— Ocean Casino Resort (@TheOceanAC) June 22, 2020
In just 10 days we can welcome you back to Resorts. We will reopen to the public on July 2nd. Stay tuned for details. pic.twitter.com/bQW3uAk1IM
— Resorts Casino Hotel (@ResortsCasino) June 22, 2020
Details are still incoming but most Atlantic City casinos have safety plans in place (see below for details).
The Division of Gaming Enforcement will also likely weigh in with guidelines that all casinos must follow. So stay tuned!
June 18 Updates
2 p.m. — Resorts installs air purification system ahead of reopening
As part of its safety plan, Resorts Casino announced that it would partner with AtmosAir to install a bi-polar ionization indoor air purification system.
The system would be used on the entire casino floor, all smoking and non-smoking areas, hotel lobby, some bars, restaurants, and the food court area.
We are partnering with @Atmos_Air to install their patented bi-polar ionization indoor (BPI) air purification system throughout our property. This technology has been proven over 99% effective in neutralizing coronavirus. https://t.co/NvpnVf3ZWR pic.twitter.com/ZYulicmxx0
— Resorts Casino Hotel (@ResortsCasino) June 18, 2020
The AtmosAir system, which is part of the casino’s Play Safe, Work Safe plan made public June 5, is said to be proven over 99% effective in neutralizing the coronavirus.
“AtmosAir will provide, research shows, the best air quality technology available today,” said Mark Giannantonio, CEO of Resorts. “We have taken this step to provide our guests with a comfortable, fun, and safe environment.”
June 17 Updates
8 a.m. — Hard Rock AC announces details of ‘Safe + Sound’ program
The hotel and casino announced via a press release that the property will reopen under a new and thorough Safe + Sound program. This is to help “ensure good clean fun at the resort destination.”
Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and chairman of Hard Rock International, commented:
“Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming have made a tremendous commitment to sanitary protocols and a safety-first mentality for both guests and team members. We are making sure our resorts are safe and sound so our guests and team members have peace of mind when they return.”
June 15 Updates
11:30 a.m. — Outdoor dining marks the beginning of phase 2
Landshark Bar & Grill is officially open for lunch and dinner. But only the patio section for now. The restaurant is part of the Resorts Casino complex.
Call it the bridge to starting phase 3, which is when casinos will finally reopen.
Landshark Bar & Grill is NOW OPEN for outdoor dining.
Pull up a seat or order carryout. The choice is yours. pic.twitter.com/tCOkjz1BkI
— Resorts Casino Hotel (@ResortsCasino) June 16, 2020
June 12 Updates
1:30 p.m. — Murphy says he’s working hard to open casinos by July
In a press conference, the governor explained that Atlantic City casinos, while not given the green light yet, are one of his top priorities. When asked if the casinos will be reopened in time for July Fourth, here was Gov. Murphy’s response:
“We are working our tails off to try to get there on casinos. … This is a huge element of our economy. It is a paritculary huge element of our shore economy in the warm weather season. It’s 30,000-plus people who are out of work. We are doing everything we can. I would hope by a week or so from now we can give some guidance on that.”
June 8 Updates
9 a.m. — New Jersey regulators provide statement on casino reopening plan
“The Division of Gaming Enforcement is working with the Casino Association of New Jersey, Atlantic Care Hospital and United 54 union as it finalizes a reopening plan for operational best practices by the nine casinos in Atlantic City. When finalized, the joint proposal will be submitted to senior leadership in the Administration for its review.”
The decision as to what date Atlantic City casinos will start welcoming back guests will be announced by Gov. Phil Murphy. At this point, it’s too soon to say when that will be.
June 5 Updates
Noon — Resorts Atlantic City shares details of Play Safe, Work Safe plan
Resorts announced the specifics to the advanced cleaning and decontamination efforts via a press release:
- The installation of UV-C sterilization technology on all escalators to regularly eliminate bacteria and viruses on handrails.
- Mobile ultraviolet light technology that is utilized in the nation’s top hospitals will be used to clean and disinfect areas including hotel rooms and public restrooms.
- Advanced UV technology will also be installed in the air handlers to kill bacteria and viruses.
- The installation of a bipolar ionization air purification system.
- Servpro, a professional cleaning company, has disinfected and sanitized the casino complex with their patented electrostatic spraying process.
June 4 Updates
2:30 p.m. — Meadowlands preps for its first race (sans fans)
Meadowlands Racetrack was quick to respond to the news that NJ racetracks could reopen.
The Big M, as its affectionately called, set a 7:15 p.m. post on Friday, June 5. In the near term, the track is committed to racing on Fridays and Saturdays. On Twitter, Meadowlands was eager to get the show rolling:
Live racing is back at the Big M! 🤩 (without fans)
— Meadowlands Racing (@TheMeadowlands) June 4, 2020
Meanwhile, Monmouth Park will hold to its original plan and reopen its season on July 3. The Haskell Invitational will post on Saturday, July 18.
Freehold Raceway will restart its racing on Aug. 28.
NJ sports betting fans can’t place bets in person, but online betting is available at 4NJBets.com (powered by TVG).
The announcement from Murphy came on Friday, May 29. NJ horse racing can resume without fans at the three active tracks: Meadowlands, Monmouth, and Freehold.
NEW: Horse racing will RESUME – with the first competitive races as early as next weekend.
At this time, we will not be able to allow fans back into our racetrack grandstands. Online gaming remains OPEN and capable of taking your wagers. pic.twitter.com/ogYc8XjyBd
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 29, 2020
10:30 a.m. — Casinos are part of Stage 3, Murphy says
During a press conference, Murphy explained that Stage 3 of New Jersey’s restart plan could include casinos. Here is what he said:
“The ones on Stage 3 that are big nuts that we really are wrestling a lot with right now and want to get to sooner rather than later, are not surprising. Indoor dining is probably the biggest. The casinos are on that list. Other things that are indoors where you’ve got the data points that are hostile to good health and advantageous to the virus.”
While this helps clarify the timeline for AC casinos reopening, there is still no definitive date set.
New Jersey will begin Stage 2 on June 15.
NEW: Today, I will sign an Executive Order that will allow restaurants and bars to begin offering in-person, outdoor dining on Monday, June 15th. 🍽️
Tables seating individual groups must be six feet apart, and other safety and sanitization protocols must be followed. pic.twitter.com/oRyRqhUJWd
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 3, 2020
Everything we know about Atlantic City casinos reopening July 2
Before any Atlantic City casino can open, safety procedures must be approved by the NJ government and Division of Gaming Enforcement. Here’s what we know about casinos in Atlantic City reopening on or after July 2:
Parent company MGM Resorts International is in the process of opening all of its casinos in Las Vegas, but Borgata remains temporarily closed. It planned to reopen on July 6, but canceled those plans on June 29.
The Atlantic City casino released a 7-point safety plan for reopening back in May. It includes:
- Screening, temperature checks, and employee training.
- Mandatory masks and personal protection equipment (PPE).
- Six-foot physical distancing policy will be in place, wherever feasible.
- Hand-washing and enhanced sanitization.
- Heating ventilation and air conditioning controls and air quality.
- Incident response protocols.
- Digital innovations.
Bally’s, Caesars and Harrah’s casinos
Back in May, Caesars Entertainment released a safety plan for reopening its three AC casinos. Said Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars Entertainment:
“We are working closely with public health authorities, gaming regulators and infectious disease specialists to design our plan.”
The plan includes enhanced cleaning and sanitization of public spaces and guest rooms as well as training all employees on the new procedures. Guests and employees are required to wear masks at all times when indoors at one of Caesars AC casinos.
Numerous outdoor/take-out dining options are available at all three properties. Here is a rundown of where to grab a bite:
- Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill
- Morton’s The Steakhouse
- Nero’s Starlight Dining
- Dunkin Donuts
- Guy’s Bar-B-Que Joint
- Guy’s Rooftop Chop
- Harry’s Oyster Bar
- Johnny Rockets
- Sac O’ Subs
- Walt’s Primo Pizza
- AC Burger Co. on the Baywalk
- Cafe Tazza
- Coastal Kitchen & Bar
- Gordon Ramsay Steak Under The Stars
- Pin-Up Pizza
Golden Nugget released a statement on its Facebook account, officially confirming it would reopen on July 2. Here is the statement:
“Golden Nugget Atlantic City will be reopening our doors on Thursday, July 2, at 6:01 am (pending final DGE approval).
“Over the past few months, in conjunction with our sister properties in other jurisdictions, as well as the “CANJ”, we have developed a health and sanitation plan that makes the health and well-being of our Team Members and Guests our #1 priority.
“Under State order, all guests, and team members will be required to wear masks. The full details of out Health and Sanitation plan will be made available online and at the Front Desk.
“Here are the details regarding our reopening:
- Our Casino Floor will reopen at 6:01a on July 2nd. Slots will operate 24 hours a day. Table Games will close from 4a to 12p daily.
- On Friday July 3, 2020, the Deck will be open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. B – 8a to 12p, L/D 12p to 8p (Sun – Thu) and 12p to 10p Fri and Sat. The Deck will also be available for “To Go” orders. Depending on demand and capacity limitations, we may need to implement Open Table to allow guests to make reservations. We will send a notification if this is implemented.
- Since Food and Beverage is not allowed to be consumed indoors in a public space, coffee will be made available for sale at The Deck.
- Room Service will be available for our Hotel Guests from 12p to 12a daily (modified menu).
- Essentials, located across from the front desk, will be open 24 hours. Essentials will offer packaged liquor and “To Go” food items for guests to take to their room, or off property.
- The Pool and H20 will be open for Registered Hotel Guests daily from 11:30a to 7p. Food and Beverage will be available.
- 24 Karat will be open Thu 12p to 8p; Fri and Sat 1p to 11p; Sun and Mon 12p to 8p. The Casino Cage will handle all 24 Karat transactions when the 24 Karat is closed.
- Unfortunately, Valet will be closed at this time. Valet may be used for drop off and pick up only. We will continue to offer Free Self Parking for all of our guests.
“The entire Golden Nugget family thank you for your patient[sic] and understanding during these unprecedented times. We look forward to seeing you soon at Golden Nugget Atlantic City.”
Hard Rock AC
Hard Rock AC’s sister casinos in other states have reopened, but the property remains closed in New Jersey until July 2. On June 17, Hard Rock International released plans for a new safety program when the casino reopens in Atlantic City.
Here are some of the guidelines being implemented once Atlantic City casinos reopen:
- Plexiglass will be installed at the front desk, cage, Wildcard services, sportsbook, box office, and select table games.
- Guests or related guests will be required to adhere to one vacant position between slot machines and table games played unless related or together in a group.
- There will be a reduction in guest capacity throughout the casino that will be posted at each venue.
- Due to occupancy restrictions, guests must be at least 21 to visit Hard Rock Atlantic City unless they have a hotel or restaurant reservation.
Outdoor dining will be available at the following Hard Rock establishments:
- Hard Rock Beach Bar
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Sugar Factory
There are several take-out options, too. Food and drink must be consumed outside the property, including on the Boardwalk. Here is what will be open:
- Hard Rock Cafe
- YOUYU Noodle Bar
- Sugar Factory
- Flavor Tour’s six concepts
For hotel guests, room service will be available.
Effective Monday, July 6, the brand-new restaurant Fish & Co. and the Balcony Bar will be available exclusively to hotel guests.
Ocean Casino remains temporarily closed but plans to reopen on July 2. In a message from CEO Terry Glebocki on June 25, details of Ocean’s safety plan came to light:
- Face coverings are required for all team members and guests.
- Deep cleaning the property with additional staff, enhanced cleaning protocols, and electrostatic cleaning technology.
- Additional sanitizing stations and wipes throughout the property.
- Adequate social distancing by limiting slot and table games positions and spacing lines in public areas.
- Plexiglass barriers will be installed at the front desk, Ocean Rewards Club Center, and cage.
- Health screenings are required for all team members and guests prior to entering the building.
In addition, Ocean wants guests to help stop the spread of the coronavirus by staying home if sick, frequently washing and sanitizing hands, keeping 6-feet of distance between others, covering coughs and sneezes, and don’t shake hands or have any direct contact with others.
Some, but not all, amenities and dining options will be accessible on July 2. The casino released new information on Tuesday regarding take-out dining, spas, and outdoor seating.
Take-out dining will be offered at the following Ocean Casino restaurants:
- Board Wok
- District Grill
- Cafe 500
- Frose Coffee Bar
- Lobby Brew
- Pit Boss
- Rocco’s Italian Kitchen
- Seaside Deli
- Simply Salads
- The Grind
- Zhen Bang
Outdoor bar areas located in the O2 area adjacent to the Hotel Lobby, Sky Garden, Pool Areas, and Boardwalk Brow are also open.
In terms of amenities, three pools on the property are set to reopen including Eclipse Pool and Poseidon. The Boardwalk Pool’s reopening is still in the works but is noted as “coming soon.”
Exhale Spa will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The saunas, steam, rooms, Jacuzzis, and pool are temporarily closed per Murphy’s Executive Order. Meanwhile, Bangz Salon + Blow Dry Lounge will reopen on July 16.
Tropicana Atlantic City
Eldorado Resorts reopened its Louisiana properties earlier in May. Tropicana AC is scheduled to reopen on July 2. Here is a message from Tropicana’s website regarding its safety procedures:
“Creating an environment that is safe for our valued Guests and Team Members is a priority for our company. To that end, we have developed and implemented a comprehensive health and safety program across all of our properties. Designed to comply with applicable federal, state and local guidelines, our procedures focus on the Guest experience and Team Member interaction.
“Our Team Members have received mandatory comprehensive initial and ongoing training on proper safety, social distancing, hand washing, cleaning, and disinfecting protocol, including proper usage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).”
Eldorado’s plan includes the following items as per its website:
- Social distancing
- Hand washing
- Clean and sanitize
- Face masks
Additionally, the following restaurants will be open for outdoor dining and/or to-go options (in-room dining is available Wednesdays through Sundays):
- Corner Market
- Chickie’s & Pete’s Crabhouse & Sportsbar
- Casa Taco
- Cuba Libre
- Green Bar
- La Petite Crêperie
- Mrs. Fields
- Premium Ice Cream Parlor
- P.F. Chang’s
- The Palm
- Tony Luke’s
- Starbucks Marketplace
- Starbucks The Quarter
Stores within Tropicana and The Quarter that are opening with 25% capacity:
- Blue Mercury
- America, Marshall Rousso
- Erwin Pearl
- Hat Emporium
- Luxe Salon
- Swarovski – Monday
- Time After Time
- White House/Black Market
Resorts released a “Play Safe, Work Safe” plan for reopening on June 5. It includes the following:
- The installation of UV-C sterilization technology on all escalators.
- Mobile ultraviolet light technology (utilized in the nation’s top hospitals) will be used to clean and disinfect hotel rooms and public restrooms.
- Installing advanced UV technology in the air handlers to kill bacteria and viruses.
- The installation of a bipolar ionization air purification system to create healthier indoor air quality.
- Servpro, a professional cleaning company, has disinfected and sanitized the casino complex.
The casino also installed a new key system for its hotel and plans to begin mobile Express check-in and check-out to limit contact.
Resorts will offer multiple outdoor dining and beverage options:
- Landshark Bar & Grill
- Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
- Wet Willie’s
*Takeout options will include:
- Gallagher’s Steak House (4 p.m.-9 p.m.)
- Landshaek Bar & Grill
- Soup Man
- Dunkin Donuts
- Famiglia Pizza
- Ruby Dinette
- Wet Willie’s
*Must be consumed in hotel room or outside of the property.
As the oldest casino in Atlantic City, Resorts has been through a lot of ups and downs in the resort town. As such, CEO Mark Giannantonio remains upbeat:
“We miss you and look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.”
Atlantic City casino reservations: when to book a room
Atlantic City casinos have varying protocols in place for cancellations and refunds of reserved rooms. Due to the 25% capacity limit, room availability will be limited for the time being.
|AC Casino||Accepting Reservations|
|Golden Nugget||July 2|
|Hard Rock||July 2|
|Ocean Casino||July 2|
Note: All dates above are subject to change.