Capacity will be limited and visitors will be required to wear a mask.

By Alison Fox
June 24, 2020

Casinos in Atlantic City can reopen on July 2 and will feature capacity limits and a face mask requirement.

Casinos in the state will be restricted to 25 percent of their capacity, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced at a press conference on Monday. Murphy said health and safety protocols would be detailed at a later date, but he expects them to include mandatory face coverings for both visitors and staff as well as health screenings.

Bally's, Ocean, Resorts, and Hard Rock Casino
Credit: Mark Makela/Stringer via Getty

The capacity limit is in line with New Jersey’s indoor gathering limits.

“This means that thousands of New Jerseyans can get back to work,” Murphy said, adding, “If any visitor refuses to comply with these simple safeguards, you will be escorted out of the casino. We are not going to tolerate any knuckleheads trying to ruin it for those who wish to enjoy themselves responsibly, those who need to get back to work, especially if those knuckleheads could be spreading COVID-19.”

In Las Vegas, which reopened casinos on June 4, masks were recommended but not required and have been scarce. Last week, the Nevada Gaming Control Board updated its guidelines to require face coverings when playing table games if there isn’t a barrier separating players and dealers.

In New Jersey, Murphy said some casinos have told him they would first open to select guests, including those considered loyal customers, to test out the new protocols.

Also on July 2, New Jersey will allow restaurants to resume indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. This follows the opening of outdoor dining, which was allowed on June 15.

Casinos in Atlantic City (which happens to be one of the best places to spend the Fourth of July), have been closed for months as COVID-19 spread throughout the state and the country. For its part, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa said it will reopen to the public on July 6, with employee temperature checks and barriers at many table games (poker will not initially be available).

“When we reopen our doors, we do so with excitement to welcome back our employees and guests, and with an unwavering commitment to their health and safety,” Melonie Johnson, the president of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, said in a statement. “Summer is a special time in Atlantic City, and we look forward to playing a part in offering some much-needed entertainment.”

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will mandate masks for customers and guests and implement thermal imaging to take the temperature of all customers.