Hurricane Sandy Could Prove Devastating to Gambling Mecca of Atlantic City

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Hurricane Sandy Could Prove Devastating to Gambling Mecca of Atlantic City

What is being billed as potentially the storm of the century had the United States second largest gambling destination of Atlantic City right in its path.

Hurricane Sandy had been briefly downgraded to a tropical storm before becoming a hurricane once again early Saturday afternoon.  Current models have the storm making a direct impact on Atlantic City.

On Saturday morning, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declared a state of emergency as the storm moved up the East Coast.

"We have to be prepared for the worst," said Christie at a televised press conference shortly before noon.

“We believe several regional casino markets could be at risk, including Atlantic City casinos, Connecticut tribal casinos, New York VLT industry, Eastern Pennsylvania casinos, and Maryland casinos,” Wells Fargo Securities gaming analyst Cameron McKnight told investors.



The state's barrier islands from Sandy Hook south to Cape May must be cleared out by Sunday afternoon. Those at Atlantic City casinos also must leave by then.

The biggest threat scenario involves the hurricane colliding with a cold front from the West, creating a "superstorm" that could stall over the Eastern seaboard for days. Residents have been asked to prepare for the possibility of a week or more without power.

Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the forecasting service Weather Underground, said Sandy could potentially top the worst East Coast storm on record, a 1938 New England hurricane that is sometimes known as the Long Island Express, which killed nearly 800 people

Damages could reach $3.2 billion when all is said and done. 

- Gilbert Horowitz,

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