March 11, 2021 Casino, Online, Land-Based

New Jersey casinos to operate at 50% capacity beginning next week

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New Jersey casinos will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity beginning March 19 according to new orders announced by Gov. Phil Murphy.

Casinos in the Garden State have been operating at 35% since early February. In the past month New Jersey has seen Covid-19 cases stay mostly stable. On Tuesday the state reported a seven-day average of 3,322 cases.

Casinos join restaurants, bars, gyms, personal care services and amusement venues as facilities that will seen an increased capacity limit. Seating at bars will continue to be prohibited.

“We feel confident in these steps given the data that we have been seeing over the past five weeks, since the last time we expanded the indoor reality,” Murphy said, as reported by NJ.com. “For example, on Feb. 5th, when our restaurant capacity last changed, our hospitals were treating just under 2,900 patients. That number has come down by 1,000 and been consistent since then.”

The additional 15% capacity should provide an especially big boost for Atlantic City’s nine casinos, which saw January 2021 table and slot revenue of $160m, down 17% year-on-year.

Atlantic City operators have relied on sports betting and online gaming to overcome diminished retail action. In January online revenue was $104m, up 88% y-o-y.

An 806-person study released this week from Stockton University found 70% of respondents plan to return to Atlantic City in the next six months. 42% of the respondents have visited the city since casinos reopened last June, with 76% of that group saying they felt safe while gambling.

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