Didn’t tell the public until Thursday
Harrington Raceway & Casino in Harrington, Delaware, has been closed since Tuesday because of what the casino is simply calling “technical difficulties.” It has not provided an estimate on when it will reopen.
Delaware Online reports that Harrington Raceway CEO Patti Key contacted the Delaware Lottery on Tuesday around noon to let them know that the casino would have to close. Despite this, however, the casino did not inform the public until Thursday afternoon.
causing a temporary disruption to gaming and computer systems”
In a Facebook post, echoed on the Harrington Raceway & Casino’s homepage, the casino said it is “experiencing technical difficulties that are causing a temporary disruption to gaming and computer systems.”
“We are working diligently to investigate the source of the disruption, confirm its impact on our systems, and restore full functionality to our affected systems as quickly as possible,” the statement continued. “We have significant resources, including cyber security specialists, devoted to this process and our work to resolve this issue is ongoing.”
Patrons wasted lots of time, fuel
Needless to say, Harrington Raceway patrons are none too pleased about the closure. The main gripe is that the casino made no announcement until Thursday afternoon, resulting in people making a trip to the casino only to find it closed, like something out of National Lampoon’s Vacation.
Richard Sies told WBOC that he drove from Baltimore on Thursday, an 88-mile trip, only have to make other plans.
When I pulled in here and saw the parking lot was empty, I knew I was in trouble.”
“When I pulled in here and saw the parking lot was empty, I knew I was in trouble,” said Sies. “I guess now I’m going to go to Delaware Park, which is about two and a half hours from here.”
Vernon Lambert had the same experience, as did Gina Cook and Tonia Cain, who made the 60-mile drive from Annapolis, Maryland. All three decided to head over to Bally’s Dover Casino Resort, which is about 21 miles from Harrington Raceway.
Jerome Fears, a Dover resident, is concerned about a ripple effect, worried that Bally’s will become crowded as would-be Harrington customers head to Dover. That would be good for Bally’s, but could make visitors’ experiences less enjoyable.
Laundry list of unknowns
At this point, about 1pm ET on Friday, the situation is mostly filled with unknowns. What we do know is that Harrington announced in May that it had partnered with International Game Technology to upgrade its systems in order to “further optimize its gaming floor, reward players and elevate excitement through a variety of IGT solutions,” but we do not know if this has anything to do with the problem.
Additionally, Department of Safety and Homeland Security spokesperson Arshon Howard told Delaware Online that the Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement “is not investigating any reports of suspicious or criminal activity at Harrington Raceway & Casino.”
But what is unknown at this point, at least publicly, is what the actual technical issues are, if customer data has been breached, why cybersecurity specialists are on the case, if player reward accounts are affected, how the casino will compensate customers who missed out on free play or other promotions, and how New Year’s Eve events will be affected. And, of course, nobody knows when the casino will reopen.