Where To Eat At Atlantic City Casinos Now That Indoor Dining Is Being Served

Indoor Atlantic City dining will soon be an option for casino patrons again and some AC casinos are offering special deals to celebrate the occasion.

Atlantic City casinos have been back in action for months, but Atlantic City dining has been under restrictions that have mostly relegated it to outdoor options so far.

That’s all about to change.

On Friday, AC casinos can start welcoming guests to dine indoors again. That doesn’t mean things are back to the way they were before the COVID-19 pandemic began, however.

As a matter of fact, the restaurants at Atlantic City’s nine casinos still have to abide by a set of protocols to keep everyone safe. Despite that, the casinos are offering specials and a wide menu of culinary delights to celebrate another amenity they can once again offer guests.

Atlantic City dining indoors: what to know before you go

As previously mentioned, there are still statewide restrictions for indoor dining in place. Gov. Phil Murphy laid out the basics.

As Murphy noted, the 25% capacity applies to the restaurant areas inside casinos, meaning they can only seat a quarter of the guests they normally would at one time.

Although guests obviously won’t have to wear face masks while they’re drinking and eating, face masks will still be mandatory everywhere else in the restaurant and casinos.

Food and beverages at restaurants must be consumed while seated. And another note for guests: Smoking is prohibited at AC casinos for now, as per a recent order from Murphy.

Open-container rules are for real on the Boardwalk

Speaking of drinking, that’s also been in the news lately as it pertains to Atlantic City. Murphy finalized a legal change that allows open-carry consumption of alcohol in many areas near the casinos.

That includes parts of the beaches, the famous Boardwalk, and other zones. Murphy didn’t hesitate to extoll the benefit of the change.

“Despite the economic hardship that this pandemic has levied on our casino and hospitality industries, the Atlantic City community has once again proven its resiliency and readiness for a strong future,” Murphy said.

“By permanently allowing outdoor consumption of alcoholic beverages in certain areas of the Tourism District, we can extend short-term support to small businesses who need it, and further strengthen the resurgence of Atlantic City as the East Coast’s premier resort destination.”

Indoor dining options in Atlantic City

In conjunction with the return to indoor dining, AC casinos are rolling out the red carpet for guests.

Following is a breakdown by casino of what’s opening for indoor dining Friday. Bars and lounges are reopening as well, but not all offer indoor seating. Drinks, however, are now allowed on the casino floor.

We will update the list with new information as it becomes available:

Bally’s

  • Buca di Beppo
  • Guy Fieri’s Chophouse
  • Harry’s Oyster Bar
  • Johnny Rockets

Outdoor seating and to-go services are still up and running for most restaurants at Bally’s. Sac O’ Subs, Walt’s Primo Pizza, and Guy’s Bar-B-Que Joint offer takeout menu items.

Borgata

  • Angeline by Michael Symon*
  • BetMGM Sportsbook & Bar
  • Bobby Flay Steak*
  • Borgata Baking Company
  • Bread + Butter
  • Izakaya by Michael Schulson*
  • The Metropolitan
  • Noodles of the World
  • Old Homestead Steak House*
  • Starbucks

Borgata’s indoor eateries will not offer paper menus but rather have digital menus that guests can view on smartphones. The casino’s fine dining outlets (marked with an asterisk) will require reservations. Guests may obtain those by calling 609-317-1000.

Borgata plans to continue offering its outdoor beer garden and its own delivery/takeaway service BorgataEATS despite the new indoor dining options.

Additionally, several of the restaurants will continue to offer grab-and-go options.

Caesars Atlantic City

  • Nero’s
  • Betty’s Back Room (Saturdays only)
  • Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill
  • Kwi Noodle Bar
  • Morton’s The Steakhouse

Additionally, the Beachside Bar is open on weekends. Palace Court Pizza and Tazza are available for to-go service only.

In-room delivery from Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant is available on weekends. And be advised: Reservations are recommended when eating indoors.

Golden Nugget

  • Bar 46
  • Bill’s Bar & Burger
  • Chart House
  • Chairman’s Club
  • Lillie’s Asian Cuisine
  • Michael Patrick’s
  • Party Pit
  • Rush Lounge
  • Vic & Anthony’s Steak House

The Chairman’s Club is reserved for Chairman and Elite members only. All of Golden Nugget’s other dining options will continue to serve guests on a carryout or outdoor seating basis.

Reservations are strongly recommended for Chart House and Vic & Anthony’s.

Hard Rock

  • Center Bar
  • Council Oak Steaks & Seafood
  • Hard Rock Café
  • Kuro
  • Legends Lounge
  • Lobby Bar
  • Sugar Factory
  • YOUYU Noodle Bar

Hard Rock will also reopen the Plum Lounge and DAER Deck on Friday for X Card members. Many of the above properties will continue to feature carryout and outdoor dining. The casino recommends reservations for indoor dining.

In addition, Hard Rock will host some events involving its dining properties soon. These will include beer and wine tastings. Guests must register in advance by visiting the Hard Rock website.

Hard Rock currently offers a promo especially for guests who dine at two of its restaurants.

Harrah’s Atlantic City

  • Martorano’s
  • McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood

Coastal Craft Kitchen & Bar will reopen for indoor dining after Labor Day. The AC Burger Co. On the Baywalk offers outdoor service and takeout.

Alfresco dining at Gordon Ramsay Steak will continue as well.

Ocean Casino

  • American Cut
  • Dolce Mare
  • Harper’s
  • Zhen Bang Noodle & Sushi

Pit Boss BBQ will have limited hours on Sept. 6-7. Topgolf Swing Suite remains temporarily closed. The bar at the William Hill sportsbook also remains temporarily unavailable.

Reservations are recommended for all indoor dining as space is limited. But restaurants at Ocean Casino also include take-out options and/or outdoor seating where available.

Resorts Atlantic City

  • Bar One
  • Breadsticks Café
  • Capriccio
  • Eastwind and Mukashi
  • Gallagher’s Steak House
  • Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
  • Landshark Bar & Grill
  • Quickbites Food Court (+ Quick Bites Patio)

Resorts will also reopen 5 O’Clock Somewhere on Sept. 11. Gallagher’s Steak House will open on Saturday, Sept. 5.

All venues will also offer outdoor seating options along with takeout for guests who prefer to dine that way.

Tropicana

  • Palm Restaurant
  • Cuba Libre
  • Broadway Burger Bar
  • Carmine’s
  • PF Chang’s Atlantic City

Tropicana advises on its website that reservations are recommended. Most of the indoor dining options listed above use Open Table to reserve a table.

Where available, restaurants offer outdoor dining, and most provide take-out options, too. The Quarter is also open for shopping.

Are you hungry yet? Atlantic City is waiting

If these properties aren’t your destinations of choice, don’t be dismayed. The other half of Atlantic City’s nine casinos are preparing to offer indoor dining again as well.

Guests can find the latest information about outdoor dining options at all AC casinos here.

While there are still protocols in place, the resumption of indoor dining activities even at a reduced level means more reasons for people to visit Atlantic City’s casinos and more casino workers back on the job.

Murphy’s decision to make open-carry a permanent fixture of the Boardwalk is a huge plus, too.

DraftKings Finds Way To Trump No Election Betting With Free Presidential Pool

Joe Biden and Donald Trump election odds shifted. While you can’t bet on the election in NJ, DraftKings Sportsbook offers a free presidential pool instead.

You can’t legally bet on US presidential election odds in New Jersey, or in any other US state for that matter. People in places like the United Kingdom can legally do so, however, and election betting is big business there.

After last week’s Republican National Convention, the space between the two top candidates for the White House narrowed in legal markets. That might not matter much for most NJ sports betting fans.

But there is a legal way for those in the Garden State to get in on the action in a limited fashion.

GOP convention tightens 2020 presidential election odds

Prior to the Republican Party’s time in the spotlight, the odds on Democratic nominee Joe Biden painted him a stronger favorite. At the end of July, Biden sat around -177 at most UK books.

Meanwhile, the odds of President Donald Trump’s reelection sat at +160.

trump
AP Photo / Charles Krupa

When the Democrats held their virtual convention, that seemingly only stalled the odds moving in Trump’s favor.

Biden was -145 during the Democratic National Convention while books slotted Trump at +125. Since the RNC, those odds had moved to -118 on Biden and +100 on Trump, with slight variances from book to book.

The way bettors are staking their claims seems to be a large part of the reason for the movement in these lines. As Election Day approaches, it seems more UK bettors want to put their money down on Trump’s reelection.

In theory, however, these odds could still move by great margins.

biden
AP Photo / Andrew Harnik

Biden and Trump will debate three times between now and Election Day, with Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence also slated to face-off once as well.

Right now, it’s hard to predict exactly how those debates will affect election odds.

What’s certain, however, is that DraftKings Sportsbook is offering New Jersey (and anywhere the DraftKings DFS app is available) an opportunity to get into a free contest based on these results.

DraftKings’ free-to-play pool for the 2020 election

Because you don’t have to wager any real money in this contest and there is no entry fee, it’s not gambling and therefore legal in NJ.

Johnny Avello, DraftKings’ head of sportsbook operations, had the following to say about offering the free presidential pool:

“We offered this before,” Avello stated. “Our first pool was on the debate. I think we had 70,000 users for that one. This one we are up to about 26,000-27,000 users.

“Obviously, with so much time to go, this looks like it’s going to be one of the bigger ones. If you can’t bet on it, why not do some things with it for fun. Our thinking is you can’t bet on it now, but there is the possibility to bet on it in the future. This is a topic that everybody has an opinion on, of course.”

DraftKings Sportsbook is offering $100,000 in prizes to contestants. The game asks participants to predict the results of the race not only nationwide but also in crucial states such as Colorado and Michigan.

To join the free-to-play presidential pool, log into your DraftKings account or visit the DraftKings DFS app and do the following:

  • Pick your answers for the 12 election questions by 5 p.m. ET Nov. 3.
  • Only one entry per person.
  • All races will be determined by AP vote count.
  • All prizes will be distributed by 11 a.m. ET Nov. 4.

If there is a tie at the end of the presidential pool, the prize will be split among the contestants in that position. The grand prize is $5,000.

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Election betting a no-go in New Jersey

For DraftKings, it’s about more than adding an amusing element to Election Night, however. It’s all about growing the customer base.

As Avello pointed out, wagering on the election remains illegal. That means there are many potential DraftKings customers who might bet on the election if they could that the company can’t access right now.

Offering this contest on a free-to-play basis enables DraftKings to connect with potential new customers in jurisdictions where the DraftKings Sportsbook app is not yet available.

Once the company has that information, it can start marketing its other products to them that are legal in their jurisdictions.

No matter who wins the election on Nov. 3, if the presidential pool adds to DraftKings’ customer base, DraftKings will be a winner as well.

Getty Images / Joaquin Corbalan

Can TheScore Bet Online Casino Compete In A Crowded NJ Market?

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Another online casino is coming to New Jersey. This time, it’s theScore Bet casino thanks to Bally’s new owners.

If you’re keeping score of how many online casino options there are in New Jersey, you’re probably on the verge of losing count. TheScore Bet Casino will add to the myriad companies offering online versions of slots and table games soon.

There’s no exact launch date yet, but it will be another way for theScore Bet to try to snag up a chunk of the millions of dollars gambled online in NJ each year.

Twin River Worldwide Holdings, which will provide NJ online casino access for theScore, has other matters to attend to first.

Details on theScore Bet online casino’s NJ entry

For the company, this will be a “maiden voyage” into the US online casino industry with the intent to launch in the second half of 2021. The brand already operates an online sportsbook in NJ, with intent to do the same in Colorado and Indiana.

Securing the deal with Twin River is a preliminary regulatory step for theScore. The Canadian company still has to receive licensure from the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement before it can take its casino product live in the state.

That’s not an issue for Twin River, however. It has its own business to attend to as far as the Garden State goes right now.

As part of the state’s regulatory approval of the recent Caesars-Eldorado merger, that company has to finalize its sale of Bally’s Atlantic City. Twin River is the buyer in that transaction.

Until that transaction is complete, Twin River can’t launch NJ online gambling verticals under its master license anyway. That gives theScore plenty of time to get its other ducks lined up.

A press release denotes that the agreement between the two companies spans the next decade. There isn’t much other information about what games the casino will offer when it launches, however.

TheScore online casino better bring its A-game

In order to compete for a share of the NJ iGaming market, theScore Bet can’t offer an inferior product. The company is aware that standing out from the crowd will be important.

And it’s a big crowd with 24 online casino apps and growing.

“The addition of an online casino offering to our award-winning and truly differentiated mobile sports betting platform broadens our reach and deepens our strong portfolio of assets,” said John Levy, founder and CEO of theScore.

“This is yet another step towards providing theScore’s media and betting patrons with a completely holistic and tightly integrated media and gaming experience.”

TheScore’s Atlantic City casino partner feels the same way. A statement points toward a key component of a successful online casino product.

“We are excited to partner with theScore and to provide our Atlantic City guests with a highly-personalized iGaming experience,” said George Papanier, president and CEO of Twin River Worldwide Holdings.

Winning a big slice of the NJ online casino market share requires that personalized touch that Papanier referred to. It also requires a big menu of games that the provider constantly refreshes to keep players engaged.

And it wouldn’t hurt to back up those games with a rotating list of bonus offers and promotions.

TheScore Bet casino app likely has the technology to provide that experience and it says it wants to start doing so late next year.

By that time, Twin River and Bally’s should have everything lined up for launch.

Getty Images/Michael H

Dance To The Music: Harrah’s Ready To Bring Back Live Music To Atlantic City

If Harrah’s Resort gets regulatory approval, the Bayside ROCK Live concert series will mark the return of Atlantic City outdoor concerts to the resort town.

It won’t look like it did before, but it will still represent the best-case scenario right now. If state regulators give their approval, Atlantic City outdoor concerts could soon be an option next time you head down the shore.

Harrah’s Resort AC has put together a plan to offer a music series, starting later this month. If successful, it could provide a blueprint for similar venues across the country.

Details of the proposed Atlantic City outdoor concerts

Harrah’s has put together the series in conjunction with LG Business Solutions and the NJ Lottery. The casino stated in a press release that a portion of ticket sales will benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern NJ as well.

The Atlantic City series, if it goes forward, will be named Bayside ROCK Live. It will “feature contemporary DJ sets and the iconic hit music of the 70s and 80s provided by some of today’s top tribute bands.”

The plan is to offer guests a different act every Friday night from Aug. 28 through Oct. 23. Among acts on the schedule are:

  • New York Bee Gees – Bee Gees Tribute Band – Aug. 28
  • Zoso – The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience – Sept. 4
  • DSB – An American Journey – A Tribute to Journey featuring Myles Buckley, son of Journey guitarist Neal Schon – Sept. 11
  • Aerosmyth – The Ultimate Aerosmith Tribute Experience – Sept. 18
  • Songs In The Attic: The Music of Billy Joel – Sept. 25
  • Desperado – The Nation’s Premier Eagles Tribute – Oct. 2
  • Tusk – The World’s Number One Tribute To Fleetwood Mac – Oct. 9
  • The FABBA Show – A Tribute to ABBA – Oct. 16
  • Beatles For Sale – Beatles Tribute Band – Oct. 23

When and where to buy tickets

Harrah’s plans to hold the concerts in the Waterfront Conference Center parking complex. Guests must purchase tickets through Ticketmaster and do so in advance of the shows.

However, there will be no physical ticket sales at Harrah’s or anywhere else.

To attend, guests must be at least 21 years of age as well. Tickets cost $44.50 each and go on sale on Thursday, Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. ET. Each ticket will give the bearer access to two seats within the complex.

Harrah’s plans to offer beverage options and popcorn for sale during the entertainment. All of these plans are tentative, however. The casino must convince regulators it can keep its guests safe in this makeshift venue.

Health and safety key to Harrah’s Bayside ROCK music series

If officials do sign off on Harrah’s plans, it will be the first outdoor concert series in NJ since the pandemic shut things down in March.

For that reason, breaking the ice will require some safety precautions.

Outdoor gatherings in New Jersey are limited to 500 people. Face coverings are required in outdoor public spaces when social distancing is difficult to maintain. And there are other rules that organizers must follow as outlined by the state.

A press release from Harrah’s doesn’t mention specific measures the casino will take, outside of the intent to practice social distancing. From the ticket configuration, it’s safe to assume that pairs of seats will have at least six feet between them.

The casino might need to take additional measures beyond that to convince regulators, however. That might include things like:

  • Limiting entry points
  • Requiring temperature checks
  • Mandating masks in certain areas
  • Making hand sanitizer stations available

Harrah’s follows Caesars Entertainment’s health and safety protocols throughout its property. And those guidelines will be “at the forefront of the outdoor entertainment experience.”

It’s also possible that Harrah’s and Ticketmaster will add a special waiver section to the ticket purchase that indemnifies them from liability if a guest contracts COVID-19. If it’s not plainly stated, interested parties should inquire before buying tickets.

Since casinos in Atlantic City started to reopen, getting live entertainment back to attract guests has been a goal. Harrah’s and its Bayside ROCK Live music series might be the first to achieve that goal later this month.

Hoping For Change: Coin Shortage Has Ocean Casino Asking For Your Pennies

Atlantic City casinos are facing the same problem as many other businesses right now: a coin shortage. Ocean Casino will give you free play for your change.

Under normal circumstances, you’d have to pay to have your coins changed into bills. These aren’t normal circumstances, however, as evidenced by the national coin shortage going on.

Because of the lack of pennies, dimes, and nickels in circulation, those who have those coins now have the upper hand. It’s a reversal of fortunes that allows Ocean Casino Resort guests to get a premium for their pennies.

Why is there a coin shortage?

Change is in short supply right now for two reasons, both related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first reason is that to protect employees from transmission, US mints have limited production.

Secondly, more people are using contactless forms of payment and leaving their coins at home.

A rise in e-commerce, such as food delivery instead of dining-in, also contributes to a lack of change in circulation.

Few businesses utilize coins to the extent that casinos do, so the shortage has hit them the hardest. The majority of casinos in the US utilize a ticket system for slot machines and the like. But even so, coins matter.

And it’s not just New Jersey gambling halls. Casinos in other states feel the pinch.

That’s why Ocean Casino has started a special promotion.

Coins for cash at Ocean Casino

For the rest of July, Ocean will give select customers face value for their change in credit for casino play. For your trouble, the casino will also give away $5 in free play on top of the value of the coins contributed.

If you get lucky at the games of your choice using that credit, you could multiply your loose change several times over.

If it’s been a while since you’ve visited an Atlantic City casino, there are a few things you should be aware of before you go, however. The properties are still taking precautions to protect everyone.

What to know before you go to Atlantic City

A few of the normal amenities remain shuttered at Ocean Casino and the other AC gambling halls. These include indoor dining and valet services.

Casinos have shifted or shuttered games to promote social distancing as well. Perhaps most importantly, casinos require that you wear a face mask over your mouth and nose at all times unless you’re drinking or eating.

There is also currently no smoking indoors. Casinos will also screen your body temperature before allowing you access to the property.

Additionally, casinos are only operating at 25% of their fire-code capacity. It’s uncertain how much longer these precautions will remain in place.

Despite the restrictions, you’re in a position of envy if you have a jar full of change at home right now.

Tipico Tiptoes Its Way Into New Jersey With Sports Betting, Online Casino Plans

Via a partnership with Ocean Casino, Tipico will soon be an online casino and sports betting product for New Jersey but their plans are still in flux.

Another European online gambling brand has set up operations in North America. And once again, New Jersey is the preferred market for its emergence. Tipico US will soon be an online casino and sports betting choice for NJ residents and visitors.

Although a timeline for its sportsbook-casino app is still unknown, Tipico wants to have its sportsbook up and running this fall.

That may depend on circumstances beyond its control, however.

The details on Tipico and its NJ sportsbook launch

Tipico has secured market access through a partnership with Ocean Casino Resort. Its primary focus, for now, is getting its NJ online sports betting platform to market.

Tipico is the most popular sportsbook in Germany. Its retail footprint in that country is large, with more than 1,200 brick-and-mortar sports betting shops.

In the US, however, the focus is all online.

William Hill operates Ocean’s physical sportsbook, but that’s a small part of the overall pie in NJ. Nearly 83% of handle in the state in 2019 came via online wagers.

The operator agreement between Ocean and Tipico is still under review from the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement. Assuming everything goes according to plan, Tipico wants to time its NJ online launch in sync with the beginning of the 2020 NFL season.

The details on the launch of Tipico’s online casino vertical are fuzzier. The company has recently made a move to prepare itself, however.

Tipico plans for an NJ online casino, too

While the German giant runs its sportsbook on its own software, it doesn’t have an online casino product of its own.

Instead of building out a platform from scratch, Tipico has taken advantage of someone else’s expertise.

Scientific Games is a gambling platform provider for several US brands such as multiple state lotteries and US sportsbooks like Betfred.

Its OpenGaming platform is a well-known entity in NJ, too, operating the Caesars Casino & Sports app.

Reports have a Tipico online casino under Ocean’s license also coming to NJ this fall, but neither company has yet confirmed that.

In any case, a Tipico online casino and sportsbook would follow in the footsteps of other online brands in NJ. The dual power of both a sports betting site and a complimentary casino app can be seen in DraftKings.

DraftKings Sportsbook started with just a sportsbook back in 2018 but has since added a multitude of online slots, table games, and exclusive games to its new DK online casino. The result is higher revenues.

Circumstances, however, may make the online casino the more successful product later this year.

The fragile situation surrounding the NFL

The state of professional sports amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is still tentative. That applies to NJ-based teams as well as anywhere else.

As a matter of fact, NJ Gov. Phil Murphy has already dictated that the New York Giants and Jets won’t be able to play in front of spectators until further notice. That’s if they do actually play home games as normal.

NFL franchises recently began mandatory team activities. With that, came required coronavirus testing. The first round of tests that teams conducted produced 59 positive results.

Should that number climb as team activities intensify, that could result in cancelations if not postponements of regular-season contests. The NFL has reportedly canceled its entire preseason schedule.

If the 2020-21 NFL season is limited or does not take place at all, that will obviously alter Tipico’s NJ sportsbook launch plans.

Instead of offering registration bonuses on NFL game lines in September, it might delay the launch or focus its initial marketing on sporting events taking place elsewhere such as the MLB and NBA. Both of those sports seasons will still be in action come September.

But another alternative is to invest its resources into promoting its NJ online casino product instead. If there are is no NFL betting this fall, that might be an obvious choice.