Pretty much everything the State of New Jersey has done in the way of legalizing online gambling and fighting for regulated sports betting has been done in the name of the casinos of Atlantic City. Those land-based casinos did, indeed, get a boost from online gambling, but they still need in-person players to pay their bills. Unfortunately, a new set of COVID-related restaurant closure regulations announced recently by NJ Governor Phil Murphy are making life even tougher for Boardwalk casino owners and workers.

Under the new regulations, all New Jersey restaurants must close by 10 p.m. in an effort to help slow the rapid spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, that ruling takes a disproportionate toll on the casinos of Atlantic City, where the action, and the restaurants, are generally 24/7.

No state leader wants to close down businesses for any reason and Governor Murphy is no exception. In a statement reported on by the Press of Atlantic City, the Governor described his reluctance to take this extreme step saying, “To be clear, the last thing I want to do or any of us want to do is to shut our economy back down, and thankfully, we are not at that point. No one up here wants to take the type of broad and all-encompassing actions like those we had to take in March. We are acting with more precision-based actions on what we are seeing on the ground.”

The Casino Association of New Jersey was stoic in its acceptance of the new rules, releasing a statement saying that the health and well-being of their guests is their top priority. With any luck, those customers will survive COVID and be back playing next year.

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