International edition
December 04, 2020

New Jersey

Smoking and beverage service allowed back on Atlantic City casino floors

Smoking and beverage service allowed back on Atlantic City casino floors
During the only three-month period without in-person legalized gambling in the seaside resort city, casinos endured a $112 million loss in gross operating profits, compared to a $159 million reporting period last year.
United States | 09/02/2020

According to Gov. Phil Murphy's order, beginning Friday, drinks must be ordered from a server and consumed in the guest's seat. Smoking will also be permitted in Atlantic City casinos.

T

he New Jersey Governor signed on Tuesday an executive order establishing rules for the resumption of indoor dining on Friday.

The order. effective September 4, also contains requirements for movie theaters and other indoor entertainment businesses, where the number of patrons for a performance will be limited to 25% capacity, up to a maximum of 150 people

In accordance with the order, drinks must be ordered from a server and consumed in your seat and smoking will also be permitted in Atlantic City casinos beginning Friday.

"Given the progress we continue to see statewide, and with the proper precautions and limitations in place, I am proud that we can take this step today to allow our restaurants to once again welcome patrons back for indoor dining services," Murphy said. "Our job now is to ensure that this resumption only leads to future expansions of indoor capacity limits and that we do not have to take a step backward."

Under the Department of Health’s Health and Safety Standards, food or beverage establishments offering in-person service must adhere to the following protocols, among others:

  • Limit the number of patrons in indoor areas to 25% of the food or beverage establishment’s indoor capacity, excluding the food or beverage establishment’s employees;
  • Limit seating to a maximum of eight customers per table (unless they are from a family from the same household) and arrange seating to achieve a minimum distance of six feet between parties;
  • Require customers to only consume food or beverages while seated;
  • Require patrons to wear face coverings while inside the indoor premises of the food or beverage establishment, except when eating or drinking at their table;
  • Food or beverage establishments with table service must require that customers be seated in order to place orders;
  • Food or beverage establishments with table service must require that wait staff bring food or beverages to seated customers; and
  • Keep doors and windows open where possible and utilize fans to improve ventilation.

According to data released last week by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Atlantic City’s casinos reported a 170.4% year-over-year decrease in gross operating profits for April, May, and June, a period when all nine of the city’s gambling parlors were shuttered by order of the governor to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The second quarter of 2020 is the only three-month period without in-person legalized gambling in the seaside resort since it was first introduced in 1978, and the casino industry’s financial reports released Monday reflected that grim reality, the Press of Atlantic City reports.

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