1 NJ casino reopens, another scheduled

AP News
Posted: Nov 02, 2012 1:56 PM

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — One Atlantic City casino reopened Friday within two hours of getting permission from Gov. Chris Christie and at least one other was scheduled to do so later in the day.

Christie announced the order to allow reopening at 10 a.m. Friday and said it was effective immediately. He also allowed roads to the seaside resort, which was subject to a mandatory evacuation, to reopen.

An hour and a half later, Golden Nugget Atlantic City was open. The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was preparing to open at 4 p.m.

It wasn't clear when others would open.

Tropicana Casino and Resort President Tony Rodio, who also heads the Casino Association of New Jersey, said the casinos are working on the logistics.

State regulators are giving final approval for reopening plans individually.

Getting workers in place at the businesses could be a challenge. The city has been shut down since Sunday. And now that it's reopening, traffic congestion could be a major problem.

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was scrambling to arrange to bring employees to the building Friday morning.

The casinos were closed Sunday as Sandy bore down on New Jersey's coast. It was only the fourth time in New Jersey's 34-year history of legal casino gambling that the industry was shut down.

The storm made landfall with hurricane force winds just a few miles from Atlantic City on Monday.

The city was flooded and an old section of its famous boardwalk — the nation's first — was wrecked in the storm, though other parts of New Jersey's coast were hit even harder.

Last year, casinos were closed when Tropical Storm Irene hit the coast. That three-day shutdown, which came on a busy summer weekend, cost the city $45 million in lost business.

The only other closures were for Hurricane Gloria in 1985 and a state government shutdown in 2006.

The casinos have been on a losing streak over the last several years during a sour economy and because of increased competition from neighboring states.


Mulvihill reported from Trenton.