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All of the Atlantic City land-based casinos remain closed because of the coronavirus crisis, but they are stepping up to help their employees as well as the local community.
When New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy ordered all land-based casinos in the state to close their doors, their employees were up in the air about their prospects. The closures also left the casino restaurants and bars with tons of fresh food. However, the casinos gave assurances to their staff and dealt with the food issue by donating it to local nonprofit organizations.
Relief for casino workers
According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), there were over 26,000 people employed at Atlantic City casinos as of March 1 this year. For the next few months, all nine of the land-based casinos in Atlantic City have offered employees relief packages.
Soon after the casino closures, Caesars Entertainment offered to pay employee salaries for two weeks. That company owns the following properties:
• Caesars Atlantic City
• Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City
• Bally’s Atlantic City
Eldorado Resorts, which operates the Tropicana Atlantic City, has also provided its employees two weeks’ pay. The COVID-19 outbreak may delay the Eldorado purchase of Caesars Entertainment, which was scheduled to be finalized in the first quarter of this year.
The other Atlantic City casinos where employees will receive two weeks of pay are:
• Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
• Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
• Resorts Casino Hotel
Golden Nugget Atlantic City has required its full-time employees to use their paid time-off for up to 80 hours. Ocean Casino Resort has stated that it will pay its employees until March 26.
The policies were issued when the closures were thought to be for only two weeks. It now looks as if the lockdown will last much longer than that, so casino employees have sought out more relief.
While all of the land-based casinos in Atlantic City are closed, gaming is still available at online casinos. That is not only good news for New Jersey gamblers but also the land-based casino staff, as they may get more relief because their employers are still generating revenue from their online gambling.
Casinos helping out New Jersey nonprofits
The Atlantic City casinos are not only helping their employees in this tough time. The tons of food left over after the closures have been donated to nonprofits in order to help locals in need. Since the closures, all nine of the casinos have been donating food. Some of the nonprofits receiving donations are:
• Community FoodBank of New Jersey
• Turning Point Day Center for the Homeless
• Atlantic City Rescue Mission
• Salvation Army
• Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. laid praise on the AC casinos for their local support. He said, “This is who Atlantic City is. We’re a supportive community, we’re a resilient community. We come together in a time of crisis.”
Hard Rock Atlantic City has done its part to help the community. Besides donations, the casino has been active in posting positive messages on social media. Hard Rock has promoted the message of staying at home while still offering gaming entertainment online.
A Tweet from the casino read, “We need to come together to spread positivity during this time of uncertainty. While we self-quarantine, keep an eye on our social media channels daily. We will be posting recipes, cooking tips, music trivia and more. We will get through this together.”
Around the world, there are further lockdowns and event cancellations as countries try to keep the coronavirus from spreading. In New Jersey, COVID-19 cases are on the rise despite the various counter-measures taken by the state government.
Governor Murphy has been angered by New Jersey residents who have ignored social distancing mandates and continued to venture out of their homes. He recently said, “It’s quite clear that unless we crack the back on the social distancing side… we’re going to have an overwhelming amount of pressure on the health care system.”