ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - The Borgata casino began their soft-opening Thursday as they hosted an invitation-only event.
The Borgata is the last of Atlantic City's nine casinos to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic and is expected to open to the public on July 26.
The top-performing casino in Atlantic City, the Borgata was the only one that did not to immediately reopen on July 2, the first day New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy allowed casinos to do so.
Three days earlier, the governor changed his mind and canceled permission for restaurants in the state to offer indoor dining, saying that the virus risk is still too great.
That caused casinos to scramble to make other plans, including setting up temporary outdoor quarters and offering grab-and-go bags that customers can eat outside or in their hotel rooms.
But the Borgata decided not to reopen immediately under those conditions. It then set about increasing its outdoor dining options, and finally reached a point where it made sense financially to announce it would reopen.
“Following the Governor’s directive to postpone indoor dining, we took a step back to reassess our reopening date to ensure we could give our guests the world-class experience they expect from us, safely,” Melonie Johnson, the Borgata's president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.
The casino has outdoor dining options including an outdoor beer garden; an area of food and beer trucks; poolside at The Water Club, an adjacent non-gambling hotel the Borgata owns; and an outdoor dining location for the casino's top-tier player's card members. It also will also offer room service.
Murphy ordered Atlantic City's casinos shut due to the virus on March 16.
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