Chaos Erupts at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City

Plus, more drama at the Inquirer and in the wild, wild world of cheesesteaks.

Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel and Casino, which is experiencing chaos as the result of an apparent cyberattack

Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel and Casino. The property is experiencing chaos as the result of an apparent cyberattack. (Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts)

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Chaos Erupts at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City Due to Cyberattack

It’s a bad day to be the Borgata. It’s also a bad day to be at the Borgata.

On Sunday, unknown doers apparently launched a cyberattack on MGM Resorts International, the company that owns the Borgata — Atlantic City’s top-performing casino — as well as scads of similar properties all over the world. As a result of the cyberattack, MGM was forced to shut down many of its computer systems. And that has led to all-out havoc, including at the Borgata.

Want to go to the Borgata’s website? You can’t. All you’ll see is a message telling you to call the Borgata’s local phone number in Atlantic City. I tried doing that numerous times, and not one of my calls went through. So you can’t book a room. You can’t cancel a room. Even if you look on external travel-booking websites like Orbitz and Expedia, the Borgata shows as “sold out” for every day this year. Which simply isn’t possible.

Of course, it’s not just the hotel operation that’s impacted. The casino’s operation is feeling the blow as well. According to some gamblers I spoke with over the past 24 hours, they can’t use credit or debit cards to pay for anything. They can’t use their comp dollars. If you play a machine and win, the machines apparently aren’t printing out tickets.

“It’s absolute chaos down here,” one Borgata customer named Mary (she asked us not to use her last name) told me.

When word of the problems at the Borgata started to get out on Monday, some customers planning to visit later this week commented on social media that they were considering canceling their trips. But then came a new problem: How do you cancel a trip when you can’t reach anybody at the casino or access the hotel’s website?

In a statement, MGM Resorts said its investigation into the matter is ongoing. No word on when things might return back to normal.

Big Trouble in Little Inquirer

It’s fair to say that things are a little stressful over at the Philadelphia Inquirer these days.

First, we learned that Philadelphia’s newspaper of record deleted an entire story last week without so much as an editor’s note or notice of retraction. It wasn’t just a story. It was a story by one of the Inquirer‘s Pulitzer-winning writers. And it was a story about the controversial 76ers arena plan — a story that didn’t exactly cast said arena in a good light. Deleting a story might be something your brother does all the time on his blog. But it’s not the type of thing that happens every day in the world of real journalism. More on that Inquirer mini-scandal here.

But that’s not all, folks! I am generally loathe even reading, let alone linking to, the local blog Crossing Broad. That’s because its main purpose in life seems to be promoting online gambling, online gambling being something I am most definitely not a fan of. However … Crossing Broad got the scoop on Monday afternoon about yet another scandal at the Inquirer. And this particular scandal involves the P-word. Yes: plagiarism. A word that sends chills down the spine of anybody bearing the title of editor. I’ll let Crossing Broad writer Kevin Kinkead fill you in on the details here.

The Incredible Jim’s Steaks Saga Continues

I’ve been doing my best to keep you informed about the utterly essential news involving a new Jim’s cheesesteak shop in West Philly and the Jim’s Steaks in Delco. This is why I braved the humidity and the insane drivers of Philly (not to mention the frigging $40 parking garage) on Monday to attend a court hearing at City Hall. The owner of the Jim’s Steaks in Delco asked a Philadelphia judge to force Jim’s West to stop using the name Jim’s. And, well, here are the surprising results from that court proceeding.

Local Talent

Congrats to Philly’s own Amanda Shulman, who was just named one of the country’s best new chefs by Food & Wine. Her restaurant, Her Place Supper Club, was already hard enough to get into last year, before we awarded her Best of Philly for Best New Restaurant. Then, earlier this year, she picked up a major James Beard Awards nomination. And now, she had to go and get herself honored by Food & Wine. Good luck getting a table!

By the Numbers

.22: Caliber of the rifle that escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante reportedly stole from a Chester County home on Monday night. So, yeah. Not only have the zillions of law enforcement personnel been unable to catch this scrawny killer — now, he’s armed!

4: Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania Attorney General, now that Northeast Philly-based State Representative Jared Solomon just threw his hat into the ring.

10,500: Total square footage of fancy new LED boards going up at the Wells Fargo Center, part of the venue’s $400 million transformation that’s scheduled to be completed next year. Said transformation has been truly impressive thus far, adding to my continued confusion as to why Philly needs a new Sixers arena.

And from the Livin’-on-a-Prayer Sports Desk …

Well, this was an embarrassing start for the Phils in their doubleheader yesterday against the Braves.

The starting pitchers: Charlie Morton for them, Taijuan Walker for us. The Braves picked up another in the third on a pair of hits and an error. But the Phils answered in the bottom half with a Kyle Schwarber bloop-single, a Bryce Harper walk, and an Alec Bohm double. The Braves regained the lead in the fifth after another walk and a hit; on the radio, Scott Franzke announced that Walker had “zero control.” Harsh! Walker then pitched up a double that made it 5-2. Schwarbs, Harper and Bohm, plus a Bryson Stott double, came through again in the fifth to bring it to 5-4.

Andrew Bellatti came in for Walker in the sixth and gave up back-to-back homers to Michael Harris and Ron Acuña: 8-4 Braves. Trea Turner did his best with a two-run homer in the seventh, and Dylan Covey, in to pitch the eighth and ninth, was spotless. And in the bottom of the ninth? After Turner singled with two outs, Harper went yard to tie the goddamn game. Free baseball, on a day full of baseball!

But the Braves went up two in the 10th on Jose Alvarado after the second-base runner scored on a single by Kevin Pillar and Orlando Arcia doubled. And Kirby Yates mowed down Bryson Stott, Cristian Pache and Nick Castellanos for the 10-8 win.

Michael Lorenzen staggered through the first inning of the second game with an error and two walks, but the Phils came to his rescue by feasting on Kyle Wright in their half, with singles by Schwarber, Turner and Castellanos and an Edmundo Sosa double —  interspersed with a Harper walk and Stott getting whacked by a pitch — for a 4-0 lead. Could they blow this one?

Lorenzen seemed determined to try. In the third, he gave up a double, a single and a two-out Matt Olson homer: 4-3. Oops. In the fourth, though, with no outs, Sosa singled, Jake Cave doubled to score him, and Wright came out for Jackson Stephens. Turner singled Cave home but was tagged trying for second, and Rob Thomson challenged the call. Overturned! Marsh hit a solo homer in the fifth, but Olson matched it with his second of the night. Who says we got no class?

That brought Jeff Hoffman in to pitch the rest of the frame, while Soto, in for the seventh, gave up a Michael Harris II homer: 7-5. The bottom of the seventh was a mess of errors, a wild pitch, a muffed double play, a walk to Castellanos, a change of pitcher to Pierce Johnson, but no more Phils runs. Matt Strahm pitched a flawless eighth, and Craig Kimbrel came through in the ninth in the 7-5 win. They’ll meet again tonight at 6:40.

Oh yeah, my colleague Laura Swartz reminds me the Jason Kelce doc drops today! She previewed it and liked it. More than a little. In related news, People magazine has a cute feature on how much his wife Kylie paid for Super Bowl tickets for their two babies — for a game she knew they’d never remember! And in unrelated news? The U.S. men’s national team has a friendly vs. Oman tonight at 8:30.

All Philly Today sports coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.