Atlantic City’s gambling network faced a temporary blackout in the early hours of Sunday morning, after storms took out the power for several casinos.

According to Atlantic City Electric, bad weather caused chaos for almost 10,000 customers in the city after 1am. The power outage came when lightning struck a power line, leaving some properties completely without electric and some with only partial power.

This caused quite a bit of chaos and disruption to operations for many of Atlantic City casinos. Guest were said to be stranded in elevators and players were left staring into dead slot machines. A spokesperson for the electrical company said that the average time to restore power to these establishments took almost 42 hours.

Pressure on Fire Services

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The fire department also received calls over 17 cases of activated alarms during the storm. Scott Evans is the Chief of Atlantic City’s fire department. He said that their “resources were spread thin,” when his team had to respond to calls from 4 casino properties on the night the lightning struck.

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Bally’s Atlantic City, Ocean Casino Resort and Resorts Casino Hotel all required their elevators to be evacuated.

In Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, one person allegedly got stuck in the elevator, but staff on-site were able to safely get them without the need of the emergency services.

One of the establishments to get hit the worst was the Ocean Casino near the Boardwalk. Just before 1:30am it took a direct hit of lightning, and Evans said that 3 ACFD teams were needed to secure the property.

No Casualties Were Reported

Fortunately for New Jersey Police, who have jurisdiction over the gaming floors in Atlantic City’s casinos – said they received no emergency calls of injury or deaths during the severe storms on Sunday.

Some people took to social media to talk about their experience. One Facebook user who was stuck in one of the casinos said “I was playing poker at Ocean with just the table overhead lights. Was really cool playing without the bright lights. Watched the slot machines go dark. Was sort of creepy walking through a dark casino.”

Another lady called Noelle. D was also present at the Ocean casino at the time they had the power outage. She claimed that her experience “wasn’t bad, just different,” and said that people in the casino seems to be “making the most of it.”

A lady who was playing a slots at the Tropicana Atlantic City said that her machine “just went black,” and that there was no panic. “Everyone just sat and waited patiently,” she added.

Some Gamblers Were Compensated

 Fortunately for gamblers, these machines are fitted with power supplies that are designed to recognize these kind of electrical faults, so the electricity is restored quickly – this also means that they are unlikely to lose any money if they were playing at the time the storm hit.

In addition, the machines are also programmed to record all playing history on the machines until power is lost, meaning the casino will be able to accurately pin point the time when the machine shut down, and calculate any returns due back to the players.

A lady called Deb Halpin from Gibbsboro was playing a slot at the Golden Nugget. One of the attendants was able to write her a credit voucher so she was able to cash it in before leaving the casino.

Aside from the casinos and their patrons, another 3,495 customers under the coverage area of Atlantic City Electric also lost power on Sunday morning. This was only temporary and they were able to restore power to all the homes effected very quickly.


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A Massachusetts native, blogger Angeline Everett grew up in the Allston neighborhood of Boston and earned a degree in casino management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. After graduating, Angeline moved to Atlantic City where she joined the young team at the Borgata Casino as a compliance representative, while blogging on the side. After a few years in the back office, Angeline moved to the floor to work first at a casual poker dealer and later casual poker floor supervisor. Fascinated with games of chance since she was a child, Angeline currently divides her time between blogging and work on her first book.