ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- 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:
-- 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.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- A time few could imagine during the glory days of casino gambling has arrived in Atlantic City, where two casinos and more than 5,000 jobs will be lost this weekend.
The Showboat is closing Sunday, followed by Revel's two-day closure Monday and Tuesday.
Trump Plaza is next, closing Sept. 16. To the thousands of workers who will be left behind, it still seems unreal.
Showboat bartender Chris Ireland says casino workers never thought this could happen.
Atlantic City began the year with 12 casinos, but before summer's end, it will have eight.
The contraction is due to ever-increasing competition in neighboring states.
Many analysts and casino executives say Atlantic City will do better with fewer casinos. Some have already improved their financial position since the Atlantic Club closed in January.