Casino Land-Based Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City remains closed June 30, 2020 By Alex Ulrich The announcement was made following Gov. Phil Murphy’s ban outlined in Phase 2 of New Jersey’s return strategy due to COVID-19. Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City announced on Monday it will remain closed following Gov. Phil Murphy’s ban on drinking, smoking and eating in the Atlantic City casinos that are set to reopen this week in Phase 2 of New Jersey’s return process from shut down amid COVID-19. Murphy said the ban and the state’s indefinite postponement of indoor dining was a result of people not complying with guidelines for social distancing or wearing face masks, and the spike in positive COVID-19 cases in other states where indoor dining has returned. The Borgata is the first casino to cancel its reopening plans. It had planned an invitation-only soft opening on July 2, and then a public reopening on July 6 that would have followed the 25% capacity guideline from the state to ensure social distancing. “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,” Borgata’s parent company, MGM Resorts International said in a statement. “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.” MGM Resorts International also said they respect the Governor’s decision to postpone indoor dining in New Jersey. Other casinos are waiting for more information from the state before making their decision. President of the Casino Association of New Jersey and head of the Tropicana casino Steve Callender told The AP that “no smoking is very bad for casinos” and could be a deal-breaker in the reopening of other casinos. New Jersey has been one of the states hit hardest by COVID-19. There have been over 170,000 confirmed cases and close to 13,000 confirmed deaths according to the State of New Jersey Department of Health.