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Atlantic City casinos secure operation if state shut-down

Atlantic City casinos secure operation if state shut-down The 11 Atlantic City casinos will be permitted to continue operation if the state shuts down, reads a new casino bill signed into law on Friday. According to the new law, the casinos will be allowed to "police" themselves, in case the government shuts down (including casino inspectors). The New Jersey casinos and racetracks were shut in 2006 when the July 1th budget deadline was missed, and Gov. Jon Corzine ordered nonessential state workers sent home, a category that also included the casino inspectors. Atlantic City's 12 casinos, which draw about 33 million visitors a year, were closed, along with racetracks in Monmouth County and the Meadowlands. "It is critical that the casino industry in Atlantic City not live under the threat of government shutdown like it did in 2006. This bill ensures that the industry will remain open regardless of the status of state budget negotiations," Gov. Corzine said in a statement.

 During the state's shutdown in 2006, it was estimated that the casinos lost over $55 million from inactivity. But under the new law, the casinos will bear the responsibility of making sure their employees and customers follow the law. If there is serious wrongdoing, the governor could immediately order a casino closed during a government shutdown, and the casino would pay 10 times the normal fine for infractions committed during the period.

 Published on 06/28/2008

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