New Jersey Shutdown Costs State, Casinos Millions

Atlantic City casinos shut down on Wednesday to meet a morning deadline to do so after New Jersey lawmakers failed to resolve an impasse on the state's budget, and the closing could cost millions of dollars in lost revenue and taxes.

All 12 of the city's casinos had shut down, said Daniel Heneghan, a spokesman for the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

Major casino operators affected include Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. (TRMP), which operates three hotel casinos, and for Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, a joint venture between Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD) and MGM Mirage (MGM), and Harrah's Entertainment Inc. (HET), the world's largest gaming operator, which runs four casinos there.

Other casino operators in Atlantic City include Aztar Corp. (AZR) and Colony Capital LLC.

The closure, which could cost gaming operators more than $10 million a day in wagers and the state millions in taxes, comes after Gov. Jon Corzine shut down non-essential state services on July 1 and a New Jersey appellate court rejected a plea by casinos to stay open.

Casinos are affected as they must have state-employed regulators in place to operate.

Corzine wants to raise sales tax one percentage point to 7 percent to close the state's $4.5 billion budget deficit.

A Borgata spokesman said the casino floor at the opulent Atlantic City property had been closed but other non-gaming facilities were still open.

"There are still customers around," spokesman Michael Facenda said. But "the news has gotten out that the casinos have been ordered to be closed."