Last month, I talked about the “new normal” for Atlantic City casinos. When Governor Murphy shut issued his stay-at-home order back in mid-March, that included the shutdown of all AC casinos and in-house dining at local bars and restaurants. July 4th weekend, many local casinos opened their doors with limited capacity and new restrictions in place. These included the Ocean Casino Resort, Bally’s, Harrah’s, and Caesar’s. Bucking this trend, Borgata forgo this early opening to concentrate on making sure they were able to provide the excellent service to their customers that they are known for. Well, the wait is over! This Sunday, the Borgata Casino officially reopens its doors to the public.
Borgata Casino Reopens
The Borgata held a soft open yesterday for a select group of its patrons. It was an “invitation only” event. They wanted to see what their regular customers thought of all the changes they made to allow for safe play. Overall, it was a success. Patrons appreciated the changes. In fact, the spaced seating and limited capacity meant less crowding and more parking. That’s something everyone can appreciate. The casino opens its doors in a larger capacity this Sunday, July 26th, at 10 am. Then, every one of the nine casinos in Atlantic City will be open for business again.
Borgata’s New Normal
In accordance with Governor Murphy’s directive, masks must be worn by both patrons and employees inside casinos at all times. Since the governor also postponed indoor dining, the casino serves no food or drinks inside, including the sports book area. However, they managed to come up with a few clever alternatives for guests. For example, poolside service upped their game. Also, the Borgata transformed most of its outdoor space on the grounds to utilize as outdoor dining area. This includes the indoor pool and garden area, the Borgata Beer Garden, and the Water Club’s Sun Bar. And don’t be surprised if you see a variety of gourmet food and beverage trucks outside.
On the casino floor, guests will see social distancing in action. They installed polycarbonate dividers between each gambler’s seat as well as the dealer at the gaming tables. At the slot machines, you’ll see every other one turned off. Before entering, staff takes a digital temperature of guests at the door. Several hand sanitizing areas and two handwashing stations have been set up all around the casino to encourage good hygiene. Unfortunately, for now, spas and salons remain closed. They also temporarily closed their valet service.
When the numbers of positive COVID-19 tests dwindle, we should see restrictions begin to loosen up. Eventually, if we all do our part, we could see a return to a more normal way of doing business. Personally, I’d be happy to see the hand washing/sanitizing and social distancing (to a degree) continue even after we’re “back to normal”.