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New Jersey Governor: 'We're Just Not There Yet' When It Comes To Re-Opening Atlantic City Casinos

Gov. Murphy Says There Is Still No Date Set For Atlantic City Casinos To Reopen


The New Jersey gaming industry has been in freefall in recent months. The decline in gambling revenue began when the coronavirus outbreak prompted the Garden State’s Governor Phil Murphy to halt operations indefinitely at the nine casinos located in Atlantic City on March 16.

According to comments Gov. Murphy made recently, it doesn’t appear if any concrete end to that the casino shutdown is in sight.

The gambling mecca of the Northeast reported a roughly 69 percent decrease in revenue year-over-year in April. The only bright spot in recent months has been a strong showing in online gaming, with back-to-back months of record online poker revenue earned in March and April.

Mass layoffs have impacted thousands of gaming industry employees, and those impacted don’t yet have any sign of when the state’s gaming establishments might begin the reopening process.

“It’s a huge game-changer in our economy and in the lives of literally tens of thousands of people out there,” Governor Murphy said in an interview on WPG Talk Radio. “I would love nothing more to say we’re ready to go. We’re just not there yet.”

According to the American Gaming Association, 181 of the 989 commercial and tribal casino properties in the U.S. have reopened as of the morning of May 26. Gaming establishments in South Dakota, Arizona and Florida have been treated by a swell of consumer demand upon resuming their operations.

Gov. Murphy has initiated the gradual lifting of restrictions on the state’s businesses. Spas, barbershops, salons, and gyms were included in a list of businesses that might be able to reopen in a ‘matter of weeks’, said Gov. Murphy while appearing on CNBC.

When asked if the timeline might be similar for the state’s casinos, Gov. Murphy was unable to make a commitment, according to

“I don’t want to marry myself," he responded. “I hope it’s that.”

New Jersey has seen the second-most deaths and cases reported of any of the states in America, behind only neighboring New York. The state of roughly 8.9 million residents has seen more than 155,000 confirmed cases and 11,191 deaths as of the time this article was published.

“Casinos are a tough nut. It’s incredibly important, but it’s one we’ve got to get right,” Murphy said in a briefing on the coronavirus situation.



6 months ago

The lost AC revenues will never be recovered. If PA opens before NJ then NJ will lose an even greater amount of revenues for a very long time. Some AC casinos will never recover along with their dedicated employees.