Where To Eat At Atlantic City Casinos When They Reopen Sans Indoor Dining

Indoor dining is not an option at Atlantic City casinos, but takeout options and outdoor seating are available. Here’s what’s on the menu for dining.

Update: Indoor dining returned to Atlantic City casinos on Sept. 4. View indoor dining options here

Atlantic City casinos are reopening today but without indoor dining.

However, that doesn’t mean the casinos lack eating or drinking options. In fact, most have outdoor dining available. Restaurants also provide takeout options in some cases.

If you’re heading to the Jersey Shore this weekend and plan to visit one of the eight Atlantic City casinos that are reopening, here’s a primer on the dining options available.

And if you’re curious about parking, we note a few details there, too.

Borgata, of course, will remain closed until further notice. Caesars, Bally’s and Harrah’s plan to reopen July 3.

Keep in mind that it is prohibited to eat, drink or smoke inside AC casinos when they reopen, per the guidelines released by the state earlier this week. There are only a few exceptions on that front.

Masks are required indoors, and social distancing measures will be enforced.

To that end, here’s what we know about dining options and gambling updates from AC casinos reopening this week.

Caesars, Bally’s and Harrah’s

The three Caesars properties are waiting a day before opening to the public again.

The three casino hotels do have options for dining, of course, once they reopen. Take a look:

Caesars AC

  • Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill (takeout)
  • Morton’s The Steakhouse (takeout)
  • Nero’s Starlight Dining (takeout, outdoor dining, pool deck)
  • Tazza (takeout)
  • Beachside Bar (outdoor dining)

Bally’s AC

  • Dunkin Donuts (takeout)
  • Guy’s Bar-B-Que Joint (outdoor dining)
  • Guy’s Rooftop Chop (outdoor deck dining)
  • Harry’s Oyster Bar (outdoor dining)
  • Johnny Rockets (outdoor dining)
  • Sac O’ Subs (takeout)
  • Walt’s Primo Pizza (takeout)
  • Bally’s Beach Bar (outdoor dining)
  • Boardwalk Saloon (takeout)

Harrah’s Resort AC

  • AC Burger Co. On the Baywalk (outdoor bar)
  • Cafe Tazza (takeout)
  • Coastal Craft Kitchen & Bar (outdoor dining, pool deck)
  • Gordon Ramsay Steak Under The Stars (al fresco dining located at the Outdoor Pool Bar)
  • Martorano’s (takeout)
  • Pin-Up Pizza (takeout)
  • Starbucks (takeout)

Golden Nugget Atlantic City

Golden Nugget plans to reopen at 6:01 a.m.

Slots will operate 24 hours a day, and table games will close from 4 a.m. to noon daily. The poker room at Golden Nugget will be closed.

The Deck will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner starting Friday, July 3. The Deck will also be available for to-go orders. Its hours of operation are as follows:

  • Breakfast: 8 a.m. to noon (Sun-Thurs)
  • Lunch/Dinner: Noon to 8 p.m. (Sun-Thurs), noon to 10 p.m. (Fri-Sat)

The casino notes that, depending on demand and capacity limitations, it may implement Open Table to allow guests to make reservations. And of course, all dining is outdoors.

Coffee will be made available for sale at The Deck, too.

Here are a few other reopening details:

  • Room service will be available for hotel guests from noon to midnight daily with a modified menu.
  • Essentials will be open 24 hours and will offer packaged liquor and to-go food items for guests to take to their room or off property.
  • The Pool and H20 will be open for registered hotel guests daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Food and beverages will be available outdoors.
  • 24 Karat will be open Thursday, 12 to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 1 to 11 p.m.; and Sunday and Monday, 12 to 8 p.m. The Casino Cage will handle all 24 Karat transactions when 24 Karat is closed.
  • Valet parking will not be available at this time. Valet may be used for drop-off and pickup only. But there is still free self-parking for all guests.

Hard Rock Atlantic City

Like Golden Nugget, Hard Rock AC will reopen at 6 a.m.

Outdoor dining will be available at the following Hard Rock locations:

  • Hard Rock Beach Bar
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • Sugar Factory 

There are several takeout options, too. The restaurants that will be open for takeout include:

  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • YOUYU Noodle Bar
  • Sugar Factory
  • Flavor Tour’s six concepts

For hotel guests, room service will be available. And effective Monday, July 6, the brand-new restaurant Fish & Co. and the Balcony Bar will be available exclusively to hotel guests. 

As far as parking goes, Wild Card Rewards members receive complimentary self-parking seven days a week. And that won’t change.

Valet and self-parking are still available as well. Valet attendants, however, will be wearing PPE, and enhanced sanitation measures will be in full effect.

As a side note, the casino will be celebrating its second anniversary with a giveaway that includes two grand prizes of a two-night stay (valid Sunday-Thursday), $200 dining credit and $200 in free play.

Additional prizes include:

  • Second-Place Prizes (five winners): One-night stay valid Sunday–Thursday, $100 dining credit, $100 in free play.
  • Third-Place Prizes (25 winners): An overnight stay valid Sunday–Thursday.
  • Fourth-Place Prizes (50 winners): $50 in free play.

To participate, visit the Hard Rock Atlantic City website.

Ocean Casino

Ocean Casino Resort will reopen at 8 a.m.

Some, but not all, amenities and dining options will be accessible when the AC casino reopens.

First off, the food and beer trucks will be available for reopening weekend. This includes Bites + Brews and a few local favorites. The food trucks will be setting up shop at the Boardwalk entrance from noon to 9 p.m.

Takeout dining will be offered at the following Ocean Casino restaurants:

  • Board Wok
  • District Grill
  • Cafe 500
  • Frose Coffee Bar
  • Lobby Brew
  • Harper’s
  • Pit Boss
  • Rocco’s Italian Kitchen
  • Seaside Deli
  • Scoops
  • Simply Salads
  • The Grind
  • Zhen Bang
  • Wahlburgers

Outdoor bar areas located in the O2 area adjacent to the Hotel Lobby, Sky Garden, pool areas and Boardwalk Brow are also open.

Three pools on the property are set to reopen, including Eclipse Pool and Poseidon. The Boardwalk Pool’s reopening is on hold for the time being, but is billed as “coming soon.”

Exhale Spa will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, the saunas, steam, rooms, Jacuzzis and pool are temporarily closed. Bangz Salon + Blow Dry Lounge will reopen on July 16.

Tropicana AC

Tropicana Atlantic City plans to reopen its doors at 8 a.m.

When it does reopen, Tropicana’s dining options will be a bit more extensive because there are more outdoor seating areas. The Quarter retail center is nearby as well.

The following restaurants will be open for outdoor dining and/or to-go options. In-room dining is available Wednesdays through Sundays.

  • Corner Market
  • Chickie’s & Pete’s Crabhouse & Sportsbar
  • Casa Taco
  • Cuba Libre
  • Green Bar
  • La Petite Crêperie
  • Mrs. Fields
  • Perry’s
  • Premium Ice Cream Parlor
  • P.F. Chang’s
  • The Palm
  • Tony Luke’s
  • Starbucks Marketplace
  • Starbucks The Quarter

Stores within Tropicana and The Quarter that are opening with 25% capacity include:

  • Blue Mercury
  • Essentials
  • America, Marshall Rousso
  • Erwin Pearl
  • Francesca’s
  • Hat Emporium
  • Luxe Salon
  • Step-Up
  • Swarovski – Monday
  • Time After Time
  • White House/Black Market

Resorts Casino Atlantic City

Resorts, too, will reopen at 8 a.m. The city’s oldest casino has been counting down the days via its Twitter account:

Resorts will offer multiple outdoor dining options (hours of operation are subject to change):

  • Landshark Bar & Grill 
  • Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville 
  • Eastwind 
  • Wet Willie’s 

Takeout options include:

  • Gallagher’s Steak House
  • Eastwind
  • Landshark Bar & Grill
  • Margaritaville
  • Soup Man
  • Dunkin Doughnuts
  • Famiglia Pizza 
  • Ruby Dinette 
  • Wet Willie’s 

Gambling, Tourism Take Spotlight Ahead Of Planned Reopening Of Atlantic City Casinos

Atlantic City casinos have safety plans in place, and masks will be required indoors, but what other steps are there to keep tourists safe?

The shutdown of Atlantic City casinos due to the COVID-19 pandemic has already made an impact on the state.

AC’s nine casinos are forced to rely on just NJ online gambling to bring in any bit of income.

While online play has grown exponentially during the past three months, the casinos have seen an 86% year-over-year total income drop.

And it’s not just the casinos that are feeling the pain from this shutdown.  The state of New Jersey as a whole is taking a hit from the steep loss of tax revenue.

There are plenty of reasons to worry about the future of entertainment and tourism in the state, too.

And the big question boils down to safety.

How can Atlantic City, the state’s tourism hub, stay safe enough so that people want to travel there in the future?

NJ Assembly panel discusses tourism and COVID-19

To that end, a panel discussion was held in Trenton on June 25 where all of those concerns were addressed.

Casino representatives, along with people from the summer rental, live entertainment and tourism industries, met to discuss the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had so far and how they can keep visitors safe.

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, chair of the state Assembly’s Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee, shared the concerns that were raised during the meeting in a statement that said in part:

“Tourism and hospitality are vital industries in New Jersey, bringing in over 100 million visitors every year, producing (billions) of dollars in revenue and providing nearly 10 percent of the jobs throughout our state.”

Luckily for Atlantic City, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that casinos can reopen at 25% capacity on July 2. All patrons will have to wear a mask, and screenings will be done as well.

This news was followed on Monday by the governor canceling plans to reopen indoor dining on July 2.

Caputo went on to say that “Gaming and the arts have made significant contributions to our state’s culture and economy.” The state has a wide range of beaches, casinos, cuisine and more, but “all of these have been greatly impacted by COVID-19.”

‘Successful steps’ to keep casinos safe

New Jersey has been one of the more cautious states in regard to reopening places due to the pandemic.

State officials are not messing around about maintaining the downward trend of cases, even going as far as suing a city to prevent it from having indoor dining before it was approved.

Murphy shared some of those concerns during a radio station appearance.

“We’re spending a lot of time with the owners and operators as well as the workers and their representatives on casinos,” said Murphy to WOND’s ACMike Lopez.

“The bad news is casinos sort of have the attributes that are hardest to deal with this virus. It’s indoors, no ventilation. You’re sedentary, you’re in close proximity. Having said that, they’re big footprints, and we think there are successful steps that can be taken to address the challenges.”

State officials also saw what happened when Las Vegas opened up at the start of June without a mask order in place.

There was a sharp uptick in new COVID-19 cases. A required mask order went into effect last week.

AC casinos put safety plans in place

Some of Atlantic City’s casinos have already come forward with plans to ensure safety and cleanliness for visitors.

For example, Hard Rock Casino plans to use thermal cameras to check guests’ temperature. The casino also will space out slot machines and install plexiglass barriers for table games. All AC casinos plan to implement similar procedures.

When Hard Rock reopens on July 2, it will also have a new protocol called the Safe + Sound Clean Team. The team consists of 100 employees whose sole job is to deep clean all gaming surfaces, chips, hotel rooms, restaurants, pools and public areas.

Casinos will also be providing hand sanitizer stations on the casino floor along with enforcing the state’s mandates regarding masks and social distancing.

But these plans are all dependent on what guidelines the state and Division of Gaming Enforcement require of casinos, too. Those have yet to be made public.

Cashless gambling in Atlantic City?

Another, more innovative tactic that Atlantic City’s casinos could possibly employ is cashless gaming.

Just approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission this past week, cashless gaming would not only be a great way to help prevent COVID-19 spread but also would give players more options.

The new regulations approved by Nevada would allow players to withdraw or deposit money from table games and/or slot machines with a digital wallet such as PayPal, Venmo or Apple Pay.

This new method of “money handling” would drastically cut back on the use of chips by players, casino cashiers and dealers alike.

Implementing cashless gambling, however, is only one part of any plan to make Atlantic City safe for tourists. Safety plans and protocols, as well as following state guidelines, are essential to AC’s gambling future.

The fact remains, though, that the flow of tax revenue into the state’s coffers shrank while casinos were closed. Failing to bring Atlantic City back safely will deter visitors.

And if the pandemic worsens in NJ, casinos will likely shut down once more.

Borgata Atlantic City Ready To Welcome Guests Back After July Fourth Weekend

Bucking the trend of most Atlantic City casinos, Borgata will reopen to the public on July 6. In the meantime, it is prepping the casino and sportsbooks.

The comeback is underway, as companies and casinos are returning one step at a time. Borgata Atlantic City became the latest to weigh in on resumption plans on Tuesday.

One day after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy blessed a July 2 reopening for casinos, Borgata indicated that it would use the first dates for special guests and open to the public on July 6.

Reservations will also be accepted for July 6 and beyond, though at last look, the reservation system had yet to be updated.

And as is the case for all casinos in Atlantic City, Borgata is only allowed a 25% capacity.

What Borgata’s July 6 opening will look like

Borgata’s safety plan, which had been well established and waiting for Murphy’s green light, will spring into action.

It includes:

  • Screening, temperature checks and employee training.
  • Mandatory masks and personal protection equipment (PPE).
  • A six-foot physical distancing policy in place wherever feasible.
  • Hand washing and enhanced sanitization.
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls and air quality.
  • Incident response protocols.
  • Digital innovations.

When it comes to the casino, every other slot machine will be disabled in an effort to encourage physical distancing.

Many table games will have polycarbonate barriers installed as well. Poker will not be available at first.

In fact, Borgata announced the cancellation of:

  • MGM Resorts East Coast Poker Tour
  • Borgata Summer Poker Open
  • Borgata Poker Open
  • WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship

There will be stand-alone handwashing stations located along the casino floor, polycarbonate barriers where physical distancing is difficult and digital menus at restaurants that can be accessed by scanning QR codes.

The Borgata is also engaging in increased and enhanced cleaning procedures.

Murphy indicated Monday that safety measures will be strictly enforced. Anyone refusing to comply will have to leave.

What about the Borgata sportsbooks?

The ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic have spread beyond health considerations.

NJ sports betting fans keenly await the reopening of the racebook and bar dear to the hearts of every gambler: Moneyline.

The racebook is a state-of-the-art facility with individual televisions, large screens, self-service kiosks and tellers. It is one of the finest places to watch horse racing on the East Coast.

Horse-racing enthusiasts hope it will be back up and running in time to handle action for the July 18 Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park.

The Moneyline Bar & Book is a nightlife extension of the gambling vision. The 8,000-square-foot space opened officially last summer and features a 40-foot-wide LED video wall and six betting windows.

Like all sportsbooks, they have been affected by unfinished seasons, which affect betting. But pro sports are in the works for making a comeback in July.

Add that to 100+ days of closed AC casinos, and it is no surprise that the books will be a prime attraction during the reopening.

How do you get a bet refund at Borgata?

Customers who have placed bets on an individual or upcoming game and/or event that is ultimately canceled or one that has already been canceled will receive a full refund.

For bets placed at Moneyline Bar & Book or the Race & Sports Book at Borgata, guests can bring their bet slips back to either location upon reopening to receive a refund.

Tickets can also be redeemed by mail. The instructions and mailing address appear on the back of wagering tickets.

For bets placed within the BetMGM or Borgata Sports mobile NJ betting apps, customers have already been refunded for games that have been canceled.

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Mlife Rewards benefits changes and updates

Customer loyalty program plans reflect Borgata’s intent to continue benefits.

Mlife Rewards tier status earned in 2019 and 2020 will be extended through January 2022.

Borgata also is changing the earning year to Jan. 1–Dec. 31 from what’s historically been Oct. 1–Sept. 30. This extends the benefits three additional months and makes it easier to track the calendar earning year.

Certain Mlife Rewards offers, such as promotions, events and entertainment, have expired or been canceled during the time the property was closed. They will be rescheduled.

Borgata has also suspended Points and Express Comps expirations through Sept. 30, 2020.

How long before casinos are open at full capacity? That’s TBD

Soon, Atlantic City’s biggest revenue winner will reopen and the slots will once again sing on the Borgata casino floor.

And soon, the real sports betting will resume.

In that lighthearted spirit, here’s some conjecture with hypothetical odds on the next operations phase.

Will Murphy extend casinos’ capacity from 25% to 50% or higher before the end of July? Practically even money.

Murphy is meticulous, yet also aware that Atlantic City casinos could secure a substantial rebound with a higher percentage capacity. That means more people back at work and more tax revenues. He wants that.

The unspoken sentiment from his Monday briefing was: Don’t mess this up and there will be more good news.

I’m betting yes for the extension, with an announcement during the third week.

At Long Last, Atlantic City Casinos Are Reopening, But It’s Not So Simple

Atlantic City casinos got the OK to reopen on July 2 at 25% capacity, but like all things in New Jersey right now, reopening is not so cut and dried.

For Atlantic City casinos, forced to close March 16 until further notice due to the coronavirus, further notice has come.

On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that Atlantic City’s nine casinos can reopen to gamblers on July 2 with 25% capacity limits.

On the same day, spectators can place live wagers at horse-racing facilities.  This comes just in time for Monmouth Park’s July 3 delayed live-meet opening.

Atlantic City casinos prep for reopening

The ability to open before the holiday weekend and take live bets has been considered crucial for the track’s ability to survive.

Casinos, meanwhile, are planning their re-emergence from a 107-day COVID-19 shutdown, which crippled second-quarter financial results.

Thousands of layoffs and millions of dollars in lost revenue have occurred during this period, although NJ online gaming revenues have increased.

The state has lost close to $20 million in direct tax revenue, according to industry estimates. Thankfully, that’s about to change.

“Thousands of New Jerseyans can now get back to work,” Murphy said on Monday. He added that the casino industry’s offer to partner with the state to assist with contact-tracing data impacted the decision to reopen.

Some casinos may only open for “friends, family and loyal customers” on July 2 to test the new protocols, Murphy said.

Borgata Atlantic City confirmed via a press release on Tuesday that it would not open to the public until July 6.

Indoor dining limits at statewide restaurants will also be 25% capacity, Murphy indicated, but he was optimistic that those percentages would increase before long. The percentage extends to casino restaurants.

Health guidelines at AC casinos will be strictly enforced

Although health-related protocols are not finalized, Murphy told casino visitors to expect mandatory health screening, mask wearing and density limits inside.

He said the measures will be strictly enforced.

“I hate to even say this, but if any visitor refuses to comply with these simple safeguards, the person will be escorted out of the casino. We are not going to tolerate any knuckleheads for the people who are enjoying themselves responsibly and for the people who need to get back to work.”

Atlantic City casino executives and some area mayors have spoken regularly with Murphy over the last couple of months. They have offered safety measures designed to help restart business and gaming operations.

Regarding contact tracing, for example, casino players are rated. Properties have databases that can provide information on a majority of their players to state officials.

Based on the pace of announcements, the casino industry appears to be leading the enhanced health effort rather than reacting to regulations.

Murphy cited the partnership between gaming and state officials Monday, saying that “the conversations with our friends in the casino industry will continue.”

Hard Rock AC, other casinos release safety plans early

Casinos in Atlantic City have been slowly releasing safety procedures since May.

Borgata and its parent company MGM announced a seven-point safety plan, and Resorts is installing air purifiers throughout its property.

Hard Rock Atlantic City released some of its mandatory policies ahead of Monday’s announcement. They include:

  • Mandated masks (guests and team members)
  • Temperature checks (guests and team members)
  • A new Safe + Sound Clean Team
  • Increased quality of air circulation
  • AtlantiCare partnership focused on contact tracing, training, telehealth and more

“We’re delighted to get the reopening date,” said Joe Lupo, president of the Hard Rock casino.

“We thank the governor that we’ll be able to be open for the July Fourth weekend to meet the demand on the world-famous Atlantic City Boardwalk.”

Late Monday afternoon, Ocean Casino Resort sent a media advisory regarding its iconic rooftop ball. It will be utilized as a countdown starting Monday at dusk and running through July 1.

This means July 2 is New Year’s Day number 2 in 2020.

Up and down the Boardwalk, casino receptionists enthusiastically greeted callers, providing more general information than normal in response to inquiries.

There is a sense of rebirth similar to the opening of a casino property.

Reading between the lines

Given Murphy’s hope for dining capacity to increase and the conversations casino officials have had with him, it’s reasonable to believe the operational capacity will expand sooner rather than later.

But Murphy maintained a cautious approach Monday, reminding people “to use common sense for the common good.”

He noted that New Jersey’s social distancing measures, forcing the shutdown of the industry and Garden State businesses, had been worthwhile.

“We had the pain of discipline, not the pain of regret,” Murphy said.

Two significant pieces of data drove the reopening announcement, Murphy said.

New Jersey’s positive test rate for COVID-19 was 2.42%, a number that had been “at least five or six times higher” in recent months.

The new spread rate is 0.76%, he said. That means for every positive test, there is fewer than one new case.

But Murphy also said people may be letting their guard down too much and should maintain social distancing protocols.

‘The middle part of the second phase’

On Monday, New Jersey pools, barbershops, salons and tattoo parlors reopened with COVID-19 restrictions. Murphy called Monday the middle part of the second phase of reopening from coronavirus closures.

As expected on Monday, the restriction on outdoor gatherings increased to 250 people, and indoor gatherings are now capped at 100 or 25% capacity.

It’s uncertain how casinos will vary their use of 25%. Rooms, for example, are not likely going to be 100% available for reservations.

It’s also not known how restaurants on casino grounds that are not owned by the casino count toward its percentage of space.

Gaming officials hope that won’t be a consideration for too long and that the next “further notice” will signal expanded operations.

Lengthy Atlantic City Casino Shutdown Puts New Jersey In A Tough Position

It has been three months since Atlantic City casinos closed due to the pandemic. The loss of revenue and state taxes is extensive. What happens next?

The casinos of Atlantic City are now into their third month of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And the fiscal impact of being shut down is starting to rear its ugly head.

According to the last three monthly comparisons released by the Division of Gaming Enforcement, the nine Atlantic City casinos have made a combined $85.5 million in land-based revenue.

To put that into context, Borgata, the top-performing AC casino, posted $59.4 million in revenue in March 2019.

The loss of revenue has not only had an effect on the casinos but also on Atlantic City and the state as a whole.

The end result of such a prolonged casino closure is a decreased amount in taxes collected from casino revenues. Those taxes help fund various local and state projects.

Revenue, taxes at a standstill with AC casinos closed

To be fair, 2020 started off on a high note for casinos. Atlantic City casino revenue was enjoying a 21-month win streak.

So, it is no surprise that with no in-person bets and lights out, revenue for the state’s nine casinos has deteriorated.

In March through May of last year, casino win totaled $653.7 million.

In comparison, the casinos were open for just 16 days in March before temporarily closing. The result is that for March-May 2020, revenue had an 86% year-over-year drop.

Meanwhile, during March through May of last year, the state pulled in $47.9 million in taxes from casino revenue. (That number includes retail sports betting but excludes internet gaming tax, which did not shut down.)

During the same time period in 2020, the state collected only S6.1 million.

The drop almost certainly leaves a budget gap in New Jersey.

NJ online casinos pick up the pace

The one saving grace for the closed casinos in NJ during these trying times has been the growing number of people gambling online.

In the last three months, NJ online casinos earned $230.3 million, more than double the same time last year.

As a whole, that industry has yet to see a month-over-month decline in any year since its launch.

Posting three record-setting months in a row may not be the new normal. But it certainly helps when Atlantic City casinos are shut down.

A push to reopen Atlantic City casinos

Despite the major uptick in online gaming revenue, the growing losses at land-based casinos are a concern to the state’s top officials.

New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney sent out a tweet on June 13, calling for Gov. Phil Murphy to open up the casinos:

Taking a more cautious approach is Murphy, who is looking for a July Fourth opening for the casinos, something echoed by Atlantic City’s mayor, Marty Small Sr. 

To help stem the growing losses being suffered by the casinos, the state Senate passed an emergency relief bill on June 15.

The legislation gives the casinos interest-free loans along with temporary liftings of various taxes for the remainder of the year.

Bailout the casinos?

Concerns have been raised by state lawmakers over cutbacks to other programs Atlantic City needs in order to give the casinos a bailout.

But state senator Chris Brown, who co-authored the bill with Sweeney, feels differently. He considers this piece of legislation a necessary one to protect one of the state’s biggest attractions and revenue earners.

“My concern has been and remains with the families who overnight found themselves unemployed and left to deal with a broken unemployment system for the last three months,” Brown said.

“Working in a bipartisan manner, we took a step today toward saving 27,000 casino jobs while also assisting our small businesses so we can put our Atlantic County families back to work.”

What state officials, casino employees, and all those impacted by the shutdown can agree upon is that the sooner the casinos reopen the better.

A summer without the casinos would be a disastrous turn of events for the town and the state as a whole.

Ocean Casino Marks 2nd Anniversary In Atlantic City With Free Room Giveaway

Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City may be closed, but that’s not stopping the AC casino from giving back to their guests with a free room giveaway.

Perhaps this could be called “Healing and Dealing.”

Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City is dealing, offering a free room promotion and a therapeutic outlet for patrons who lost major social plans because of the pandemic.

Customers, who can qualify for a gambling getaway by sharing their stories of missed celebrations and horror stories, may get some emotional healing.

Or at least they can vent. But the deadline is June 20.

On Wednesday, Ocean Casino announced a second-anniversary giveaway of 100 free hotel room nights to customers. Patrons can qualify for consideration by sharing stories about plans gone awry during the pandemic.

Entries must be submitted by June 20 and can be sent to [email protected]

Ocean Casino’s second-anniversary giveaway

The premise of the giveaway is simple, as Ocean explains on Twitter:

The stories are going to be interesting.

Some are heartbreaking. People have missed weddings, parties, anniversaries, and casino trips.

Think of non-refundable deposits or a special-events industry that had to lay people off because of cancellations.

Winners will be announced on Ocean’s social media channels on June 28.

The 100 winners will receive a free overnight stay in Atlantic City, and one grand prize winner will receive the Ultimate Celebration Package that includes a two-night stay, round-trip transportation, meals, and more.

Bringing guests back to Ocean Casino and Atlantic City

This is a unique way to bring customers and gamblers back to the property.

“It is very unfortunate that so many have had to cancel planned celebrations during this unprecedented time,” said Diane Spiers, the Ocean Casino Resort vice president of marketing and advertising.

“It is all about celebrating, so we want to make it up to those people by giving away 100 rooms. We look forward to reopening and celebrating with all of our guests in the near future.”

Before it was Ocean Casino, it was Revel — a $2 billion property that touted its place as a luxury resort in the resort town. It is the newest property on the Boardwalk.

The rooms at Ocean Casino AC are highly regarded by casino patrons. They are spacious, with floor-to-ceiling windows. Interiors are sleek, minimalist, and stylishly appointed with contemporary furnishings.

A free stay is not something to pass up. And a nice anniversary gift.

But when will Atlantic City casinos reopen?

Of course, this was not the second anniversary Ocean Casino was expecting.

Nor is it the summer that Atlantic City was hoping for in 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic closed casinos back in March. It is the longest closure in the state’s gambling history.

It is unknown when the casinos will be reopening, though Gov. Phil Murphy has hinted that Phase 3 includes reopening casinos in AC. No date or specifics have been mentioned.

In 2018, Ocean AC opened amid fanfare with several prominent features, including a sophisticated sportsbook by partner William Hill.

When Ocean Casino Resort opened alongside Hard Rock Atlantic City, it was (at the time) considered a turning point for the city. Two new casinos brought an influx of customers and gambling enthusiasts.

The positive vibe was palpable.

And that is the type of spirit Ocean Casino hopes to recoup.

In that vane, the free room giveaway is perhaps a fitting way for NJ gambling fans to celebrate the casino’s reopening — whenever that might be.