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Can casinos reopen? What are the social distancing requirements?

Last Updated: 09/08/2020

Casinos, including casino gaming floors and retail sports wagering lounges, can reopen, while complying with mitigation requirements.

Casinos must comply with all requirements from Executive Order No. 157, Executive Order No. 158, and the Division of Gaming Enforcement and with reopening protocols from the Casino Association of New Jersey.

What to Expect at Casinos

The following summarizes some of the protocols contained in EO 157, EO 158, and the reopening plan from the Casino Association of New Jersey. However, this summary is not a replacement for fully complying with the terms of EO 157, EO 158, and any and all additional requirements imposed by the Division of Gaming Enforcement, including Casino Association of New Jersey protocols. Casinos should read the full guidance carefully to ensure full compliance.

Reopening protocols at casinos include:

  • Guests and employees will be required to wear masks in all public areas; guests will be asked to briefly lower masks for cage transactions for surveillance coverage purposes.
  • Employees will be screen for fever and COVID-19 symptoms at the beginning of their work shift and guests will be screened by employees through questions about symptoms and possible contact with COVID-19.
  • Promote social distancing and hygiene by establishing spacing and adding appropriate signage.
  • Limit total number of patrons in and around gaming areas of a casino hotel facility to 25 percent of total occupancy limits, not including employees.
  • Cordon off any indoor or outdoor dance floors to the public;
  • Sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the casino hotel complex.
  • Restaurants may offer indoor dining in accordance with Executive Order No. 183 and the Department of Health's Health and Safety Standards for Indoor Dining.
  • Indoor showrooms and nightclubs are closed.
  • At table games and at gaming machines, there must be one empty position between a single guest and another unrelated guest.
  • Total number of players at a gaming table will be limited (eg, 3 players per blackjack table)
  • By July 16, all table games will have Plexiglas or glass barriers installed between dealer/game operator and guests.
  • Casinos will adhere to additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • Individuals who are at a casino at a specific time, a specific location, and for a common reason, such as a poker tournament, are subject to the State's gathering limits, currently restricting indoor capacity at 25 people or 25% of a room's capacity.
  • Smoking is prohibited in the indoor areas of casinos, casinos simulcasting facilities, and retail sports wagering lounges, per Administrative Order 2020-19.

Information for Employees

  • Employees must wear masks in all public areas, in hotel rooms, and when less than 6 feet from a co-worker or guest.
  • Employees shall maintain a distance of 6 feet from guests and co-workers, when possible.
  • Hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes will be at every timeclock station, sanitizer stations will be placed throughout back of house areas, and sanitizer fluid or wipes will be provided in employee cafeteria.
  • Employees will be educated on COVID-19 and instructed to stay home if they do not feel well or have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Where possible, employee break areas, cafeteria, training areas, and locker rooms will be set up such that employees can maintain 6 feet of separation.
  • Employees will be provided with a list of COVID-19 viral testing opportunities in Atlantic County and testing information will be posted near each employee entrance and in the employee cafeteria.
  • Employees will be screened at the beginning of their work shift for fever and COVID-19 symptoms and will be trained on the policy for sending employees home, employee self-quarantine, and return to work.
  • The casino hotel complex will arrange for COVID-19 testing for any employee who is not permitted to work at no cost to the employee, provide material on preventing the spread of COVID-19, and encourage employees to contact local health provider.
  • Employees who can do their job at home will be allowed to continue working from home as long as practicable.

For more information, see the Summary Plan of Reopening Protocols developed by the Casino Association of New Jersey.

Source: Executive Order No. 157; Executive Order No. 158, Summary Plan of Reopening Protocols; Executive Order No. 183; Administrative Order 2020-19