AC casinos prepare for a hurricane shutdown

    Atlantic City’s 11 casinos raced to secure cash, stack sandbags and shoo away guests as they braced for a possible shutdown due to Hurricane Irene after the city ordered a citywide evacuation.

    The shutdown would be only the third time since legalized gambling began here in 1978 that the casinos were closed.

    Some casinos were planning to close as early as 6 am Friday, when a mandatory evacuation of Atlantic City was due to take effect. Others planned to wait for the result of a 2 p.m. meeting with emergency management officials on whether to shut down the nation’s second-largest gambling market for the storm.

    Resorts co-owner Dennis Gomes estimates the lost weekend could cost his casino $3.5 million to $4 million.

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