TRENTON — Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation (A299), which allows alcoholic beverages to be consumed from open containers on certain outdoor property located within the Atlantic City Tourism District, upon authorization by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). The bill defines an “open container area” as portions of the beach, boardwalk, and other areas within the Atlantic City Tourism District, as determined by CRDA, in which pedestrians are permitted to carry and consume open containers of alcoholic beverages.
"Despite the economic hardship that this pandemic has levied on our casino and hospitality industries, the Atlantic City community has once again proven its resiliency and readiness for a strong future,” said Governor Murphy. “By permanently allowing outdoor consumption of alcoholic beverages in certain areas of the Tourism District, we can extend short-term support to small businesses who need it, and further strengthen the resurgence of Atlantic City as the East Coast’s premier resort destination.”
“Atlantic City has effectively demonstrated over the past several months that business establishments in the Tourism District and on the boardwalk are capable of responsibly serving open containers to adults,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “As we face unprecedented economic challenges in Atlantic City due to the pandemic, this easement will help businesses recover from the economic recession and continue to thrive once life returns to normal.”
“We applaud the Governor on signing this bill allowing open containers in the Atlantic City Tourism District,” said CRDA Executive Director Matt Doherty. “Visitors coming to Atlantic City expect all the amenities of a world-class destination. This will also allow the Atlantic City hospitality industry, which has been severely impacted by COVID-19, to more effectively compete.”
In a joint-statement, Assemblymembers Vince Mazzeo, John Armato and Carol Murphy said: “Tourists come to Atlantic City to enjoy all it has to offer. The boardwalk makes it easy for tourists to visit various casinos, bars, restaurants and entertainment hotspots in a single day. However, if a visitor wants to take their beer on the go while on their way to their next destination, they may receive a citation for walking with an open container. This practice is becoming outdated as more cities across the nation are relaxing liquor laws in tourist areas. It’s time we revamp Atlantic City’s own laws to match this trend while continuing to keep the tourism area a safe and welcoming place to visit.”
“Now, more than ever, with so many of our local families struggling to make ends meet, we need to work together to make our guest experience while on vacation more enjoyable to grow our tourism industry,” said Senator Chris Brown. “I am pleased today, working in a bipartisan manner, we were able to take a step in the right direction.”