ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – When a casino shuts down, making an announcement over the loudspeaker and herding gamblers off the casino floor is only the beginning. Here's a look at what takes place behind the scenes:
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— Secure the money and the chips. Casino security, supervised by inspectors from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement and backed by state police, immediately secure the money and gambling chips from each table game and slot machine. Supervisors and dealers count the chips, total up the money and have it wheeled away to the cash counting rooms.
— Get the people out. While security will allow a few moments for customers to take a last look around, the goal is to clear the casino floor as quickly as possible, keeping a close eye on departing guests to ensure they don't help themselves to souvenirs on the way out. That, however, did not work so well when the Atlantic Club closed Jan. 13, and guests ripped out indoor landscaping to take with them; one elderly couple even hauled away a large potted tree.
— Food and booze. By the time the casino closes down, much of the food and alcohol will have been removed from the premises already. Both Showboat and Revel started this process in the days before they shut down. Sealed alcohol can be kept and resold; open bottles must be tossed.
— Pay the man (or lady). Casinos may keep their teller windows open for a few hours to let patrons cash out their winnings. Revel will allow customers into the casino (escorted by security) until Sept. 15 to cash in chips.
— Lock it up. The premises are locked and access is restricted to essential personnel or workmen who might need to remove supplies or gambling equipment. Revel will continue to host employees working to attract a post-shutdown buyer, and there will be plenty of security on-site.