ver 70% of the 805 people surveyed by Stockton University’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT), said they plan to visit Atlantic City within the next six months, according to the survey.
In addition, more than 42% of respondents said they had visited the city at least once since the casinos reopened in July. The remaining respondents cited COVID-19 as the reason they didn’t visit.
“Those who have visited since the casinos reopened say they were satisfied with the safety precautions in place,” said Phil Kening, a Stockton faculty member and lead researcher on the survey, as reported by The Press of Atlantic City.
Of the respondents who have visited since July, 80% said they were either extremely satisfied or very satisfied with the guidelines in place while dining, gambling or walking on the Boardwalk. “The casinos and other dining and entertainment venues have done a good job implementing COVID-19 safety measures while also still providing the experiences visitors expect when they come to Atlantic City,” Jane Bokunewicz, coordinator of LIGHT, said in a statement. “Even as restrictions are gradually lifted, and more people get a vaccine, the venues will still have to demonstrate that they are taking all necessary precautions to make visitors feel welcomed and safe.”
The city’s nine casinos were shut down from March 16 to July 2, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The closure resulted in more than $112 million in operating losses. In February, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order that allowed casinos to increase capacity to 35%.