AP News

Isaac closing at least 6 Louisiana casinos

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tropical Storm Isaac is closing at least a half-dozen casinos in Louisiana — four in the New Orleans area, one in Baton Rouge and one in Morgan City.

The storm over the Gulf of Mexico was expected to strengthen to a hurricane before making landfall Tuesday.

The Treasure Chest in suburban Kenner closed Monday afternoon, and Boomtown New Orleans was closing at 10 p.m. Monday. Harrah's Casino, the only state-regulated land casino in Louisiana, was closing a minute before midnight, and the Amelia Belle in Morgan City at midnight, according to statements on their websites.

The Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots was closing at 10 p.m. Monday, though its off-track betting parlor was staying open until the end of the evening's scheduled simulcasting. It said all Fair Grounds properties, including 10 off-track betting and OTB casino locations, will be closed Tuesday.

Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge was closing at 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Closing a casino isn't a simple matter, said Wade Duty, executive director of the Louisiana Casino Association: "You can't just flip off the lights and walk out."

"All sums have to be accounted for and reported to the state, and machine readings recorded," he said. "All the electronic gaming devices talk to a central computer. ... They're also backed up, and you have to verify that you have a good backup."

Once that's done, money is removed and the riverboat casinos are secured, he said.

Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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