The novel coronavirus has resulted in a number of businesses being shut down across the world. Casinos are among the many that have had to close their doors in the US since the shutdown was first ordered.
New Jersey’s Atlantic City Casinos have been closed since the evening of March 16 resulting in major financial distress and job losses. While the shutdown was ordered in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, it has caused mass panic in the industry. Earlier in June, the New Jersey General Assembly’s budget committee approved two pieces of legislation drafted to assist with online casinos and land-based casinos survival in Atlantic City.
The new legislation will aid with the survival of the nine casinos in Atlantic City during the coronavirus shutdowns.
The New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s order to close the eastern state’s casinos resulted in 26,000 people losing their jobs. Apart from mass job losses the closure of these casinos also put a pause on one of the region’s main economic engines.
With the new legislation, the authorities are hoping to help casinos survive throughout the rest of the lockdown period. The new legislation includes measures that would exempt the venues from things such as a number of licensing fees for the rest of the state-mandated closure. The legislation amendments are known as A4031 and A4032 also include legislation concerning promotional gaming credits and their deduction from gross revenues.
The closure of the casinos has cast a huge shadow on Atlantic City and New Jersey’s tourism industry. The new legislation is set to be put to a vote and the idea is to bring financial relief to the gambling industry and keep casinos afloat during these trying times.
With this legislation, the industry can stabilize and get back on its feet. It will also enable casinos to safely re-open and welcome back employees and guests once lockdown is lifted. The legislation will also enable casinos to resume purchases from New Jersey vendors and make tax payments based on revenues and employment.
It has been four months since Atlantic City casinos closed and there is a certain restlessness in the air. While many boardwalk shops and restaurants have slowly started reopening casinos remain closed.
The good news for New Jersey residents is that casinos are currently working on their re-opening plans focusing on implementing safety measures first.
There are no opening dates yet but casinos are hard at work to make casinos safe for players and employees. The hope is to gradually start reopening Atlantic City casinos from the fourth of July but no final dates have been given.