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Atlantic City Mayor Hopes To Open Casinos By July 4

Mayor Marty Small Echoed Gov. Phil Murphy's Sentiments From Earlier This Month

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Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. echoed the sentiments of Gov. Phil Murphy as to the timeframe of when New Jersey is looking to reopen its casinos.

Small said in a press conference a few days ago that he hopes for the nine Atlantic City casinos to open by the nation’s birthday.

“That’s the governor’s call,” said small. “I know the goal is by Fourth of July weekend.”

Murphy has been one of the more cautious governors in the nation when it comes to his state’s gaming market. Murphy ordered the casinos to close on March 16 in response to the outbreak of coronavirus and has yet to give a firm timeline on reopening them.

At the end of May, Murphy said “We’re just not there yet” when it came to the casinos. But at the start of the month, Murphy told a local radio station that July 4 was his goal.

Unlike other markets, Murphy’s market will likely be filled with tourists from New York City, one of the nation’s hotspots for COVID-19.

Upstate New York casinos began opening last week, but one of the larger casinos in the state, Turning Stone, is mitigating that risk by only allowing residents from within 120 miles of the casino to enter, effectively banning New York City residents for the time being.

One of Atlantic City’s competitors will open this week as Maryland will allow casinos to accept wagers on June 19.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been up there with Murphy when it comes to caution surrounding the gaming market. Whitmer, however, said today in a radio interview that she thinks she will give the green light for gaming in “a week or two.”

That timeframe would put the opening for the three commercial casinos in Detroit right around the same time as New Jersey’s anticipated opening. Michigan’s tribal casinos have already begun opening since they operate as a sovereign nation and are not forced to adhere to Whitmer’s orders.