Casinos in Atlantic City are capable of resuming operations safely in a manner that ensures public health safety but the state is has been too slow to allow the economic engine of the region to restart, New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) argued.
The Garden State’s second-most influential Democratic senator voiced frustrations with Gov. Phil Murphy (D), arguing that Atlantic City is in trouble because of unduly lengthy COVID19-induced shutdown of businesses. He further argued that state residents want the state to allow casinos to resume operations to help boost the struggling economy.
Speaking on the topic, Sweeney said, “It is past time for New Jersey to reopen casinos. We can not continue to keep them closed. The region needs them open and the people have asked for them to open. They can return with safety and common sense. We are seeing other industries do just this statewide.”
It is not the first time when Sweeney has voiced frustrations with the state’s Democratic governor regarding Atlantic City. In May, he had said that the casinos needed to get back to life again so that thousands of people who were furloughed by the venues could regain their jobs and the regional economy could get the much-needed economic boost.
Gov. Murphy had ordered all non-essential businesses, including casino resorts, to suspend operations on March 16th, after the deadly corona virus pandemic started gaining momentum across the nation, infecting and killing thousands of Americans. The casinos still remain closed, waiting for the governor’s green signal to reopen. It is worth-mentioning here that hundreds of casinos across the nation have already resumed operations with some special health safety regulations.
In response to Sweeney’s arguments, Gov. Murphy tweeted that he could not take chance with the health of the public as evidence showed and health experts are crystal clear that the deadly corona virus becomes more lethal inside than outside. The governor stressed that protecting public health remained the state’s top priority.
Casinos are non-essential businesses but they play a crucial role in the economy of the state in general and of Atlantic City in particular. According to stats from the Division of Gaming Enforcement of the state, nine casinos in the region collectively provide employment to nearly 26,450 people. Nearly all of them have been out of work since mid of March this year.