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Virus Puts End to Atlantic City Casinos' Winning Run


Atlantic City casinos were on a winning streak until COVID-19 crashed the party, forcing them to close their doors ahead of the typically lucrative summer season and setting the stage for an industry shakeup in the New Jersey resort town as it confronts the unprecedented health crisis.


During the shutdown, the costs of Atlantic City casinos are fixed and they will be able to "weather some period of time where they have to be closed and they understand what their costs are during that closure," according to Stephen D. Schrier, co-chair of Blank Rome LLP's gaming practice.

The city's industry is not alone among gambling markets in feeling the pain of a shutdown, Schrier noted.

The casinos faced problems of competition in the past and did not generate enough revenue despite being open for business, but "now everybody's closed. It's a different world in that sense," Schrier said.

"It's not a competitive world where casinos elsewhere are open and you're losing business," he said, adding that "everybody basically is paused and paused in the same way, and I think the upswing that we saw is going to continue once things get back to normal."

"Virus Puts End to Atlantic City Casinos' Winning Run," by Bill Wichert was published in Law360 on March 31, 2020.