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Atlantic City Casinos Still Open, For Now

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Atlantic City Casinos will remain open at least through this afternoon, and likely longer, despite a government shutdown initiated Saturday by Gov. Corzine.

The question of whether casinos would be forced to close was scheduled to be heard in an appellate court Saturday, but both the state and the casinos requested 24 hours to file supplemental briefs, said Winnie Comfort, a spokeswoman for the state courts.

Without a ruling, the casinos will remain open. Corzine's chief counsel, Stuart Rabner, said Saturday that a casino shutdown would depend on the court ruling. Now, the case will wait until at least this afternoon.

"That ruling will govern what is to occur," Rabner said before the two sides asked for the delay.

Even if the court rules that the casinos must close, it's unclear how quickly that would happen because the administration has promised an "orderly shutdown" without laying out a timetable.

"This is not a shutdown that will take place like that," Rabner said, snapping his fingers. "We'd wait for the logical point to have an orderly shutdown."

A spokesman for the state Casino Gambling Control Commission, Daniel Heneghan, said Saturday that it would be "premature" to comment on a timeline for a shutdown.

Corzine is leaving state beaches and parks open through July 4, and some Atlantic City lawmakers have said they expect similar treatment for casinos.

Even if the games come to a halt, the other parts of the casino buildings ? shops and restaurants, for example ? would remain open.

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