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With 2020 just a 10 days or so away from our rear view mirror (thankfully), there are a lot of questions about how 2021 will be different from the last 10 months.

For the casinos in Atlantic City, which were completely shut down from mid-March until July 2, the promise of large scale vaccinations will mean a return towards “normalcy” at some point next year.

But when will that be?

I am not sure that many know the answer to that question, but the casinos, as well as everything else down the Jersey Shore, are preparing for it to be sooner rather than later in 2021.

If you take a look at the AtlanticCity.com site, there is very little on the schedule around the city until the end of February, then it starts to ramp up somewhat on weekends. Early March has some shows, and it gains some steam, with more and more events on the docket. Of course, these are subject to change, but the fact that there are so many things scheduled must be a positive sign.

Also, as we get into January and February, and the new landscape starts to change with the rollout of the vaccine, there could be even more events added to the list.

But obviously, that is still three months out: what is going on at the hotels and casinos now?

Atlantic City casinos are still operating under New Jersey’s 25 percent COVID-19 restrictions, which limits the casinos to 25 percent capacity on the gaming floors (not including employees). The bars and restaurants at the casino must be closed each night between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., with capacity restrictions as well.

But the casinos are open, and people are still taking advantage of the opportunity to get away for a short time and hit the tables and slots. For example, at the Borgata Casino, which also includes the BetMGM Sports Book, there are multiple slots promotions going on through the end of the year, and even more on tap for 2021. On either side of the new year, there is a promotion that is giving away $2,020 every 20 minutes from 12-7 p.m. on December 31 and $2,021 every 20 minutes from 12-7 p.m. on January 1.

The two big events at the Borgata come later in January, though, as $1 million will be given away, $1,000 at a time, from January 16-18. Then on January 30, all players using their M card to play slots or at a table will be eligible to win one of three Mercedes GLC 300, which will be given away every three hours at 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and 9 p.m.

So while the pandemic has changed the way a lot of things are done, the casinos, hotels, and sports books in Atlantic City are still open, and getting ready for a record run once the restrictions are lifted.

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