A.C.'s Revel to close Sept. 1

The Revel will close the casino floor on Sept. 2. It is the fourth Atlantic City casino to close, resulting in more than 8,000 layoffs.
The Revel will close the casino floor on Sept. 2. It is the fourth Atlantic City casino to close, resulting in more than 8,000 layoffs. (Associated Press, file)
Posted: August 17, 2014

ATLANTIC CITY - Revel Casino Hotel will shut its hotel on Sept. 1, and its casino floor on Sept. 2, according to company officials.

The dates were approved by state gaming regulators on Friday.

"I was told today by the director of the [state] Division of Gaming Enforcement that [commissioners] have given the casino approval to close on Sept. 1," said state Sen. Jim Whelan (D., Atlantic) late Friday afternoon. "In the meantime, we are all scrambling to find a buyer [for Revel]."

The company put out a statement just before 6 p.m. Friday that said: "Revel Casino Hotel will remain open through Labor Day weekend. We encourage our guests to book reservations, enjoy our amenities and experience the same level of service they have come to expect.

"Revel will close the hotel at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 1 and the casino at 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 2. All concerts and events scheduled prior to Sept. 2, will go on as planned, and all concerts and events scheduled for Sept. 2, or later, will be cancelled.

"We thank all of our employees for their professionalism, dedication and hard work," said the statement. "We know that they have provided an outstanding experience for our guests and will continue to do so through this process."

Revel representatives have an 11:30 a.m. court hearing on Monday in bankruptcy court in Camden, during which the September dates will be presented to the presiding judge.

The casino's parent company, Revel Entertainment Group LLC, issued a statement on Tuesday that the casino would close by Sept. 10, after it failed to attract a qualifying bid for an auction that had been rescheduled for Thursday. The company said in a court filing the next day that it was still "negotiating" with potential bidders in hopes of selling the casino.

Revel's Sept. 1 shuttering will make it the fourth casino to close this year. The Atlantic Club on the southern end of the Boardwalk closed on Jan. 13.

Showboat announced in late June that it, too, will close on Aug. 31 if it doesn't find a buyer. There has been no indication by parent company, Caesars Entertainment Corp, that it was near a sale. Trump Plaza plans to close on Sept. 16.

Late Saturday, Assemblyman Chris A. Brown (R., Atlantic) sent a letter to the state gaming enforcement division asking it to compel Caesars Entertainment to consider any bona fide offers to purchase Showboat, and for the division to hold hearings on the sale of the Mardi Gras-themed casino.

"We have to put local families before self-serving corporate decision-making," Brown said. "I will exhaust all means to keep that property open and 2,100 men and women working."

A spokesman for Showboat did not immediately respond to emails for a comment. On Monday, just prior to Revel's announced closing, the same spokesman said there were no new updates and that Showboat was to close on Aug. 31.

The four closures, combined, will result in over 8,000 layoffs, or about a quarter of Atlantic City's current casino workforce of 31,000.

Revel, which was built at a cost of $2.4 billion, barely lasted 21/2 years. It has filed for bankruptcy twice in the last 13 months, and has about 3,200 workers. Showboat's closing will affect 2,100, and Trump Plaza's shuttering will hit 1,100 employees.

In January, 1,700 workers were laid off after the Atlantic Club closed.

Industry experts say Atlantic City is suffering from having too many casinos and has to close some, as gambling demand and revenue have declined. Atlantic City's gaming revenue has plummeted 44 percent since 2006, going from a peak of $5.2 billion that year to $2.9 billion in 2013.

Many of the resort's former customers are now staying closer to home to gamble in nearby states that have their own casinos, including Pennsylvania and New York.


sparmley@phillynews.com

856-779-3928 @SuzParmley

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