Atlantic City’s floundering gaming industry has renewed hope after several potential suitors have submitted bids to acquire the Revel Casino Hotel.
A bankruptcy auction that was due to take place yesterday, Aug. 7, has been put off until Aug. 14 so that the bids received could be evaluated and analyzed to a greater extent. Confidentiality agreements have caused the number and identities of bidders to be shrouded in secrecy, but Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian told philly.com last month that a half-dozen potential buyers have stepped up.
All bids for the casino were due on Aug. 4. Had none been submitted, Revel owners suggested that no options remained other than closing.
Hope for Showboat and Trump Plaza too
That shutdown threat mirrored announcements earlier this year that the Showboat Casino would close its doors on Aug. 31, followed by Trump Plaza on Sept. 16. While prospects for the Revel’s revival have arrived, lawmakers and employees of the pair of casinos already scheduled to close are holding out hope that the Trump and Showboat can stay open as well.
Sen. Jim Whelan and fellow lawmakers have asked gaming regulators to delay closing the two casinos until buyers are located. Employees affected by the announced closings have demonstrated on the Atlantic City boardwalk in an effort to call attention to their plight.
$2.4 Billion Invested in Revel
The Revel’s grand opening in 2012 was much-ballyhooed after an investment of $2.4 billion was spent to open its doors to gamblers. The casino’s staying power has been less than grand, with two bankruptcy filings on its resume in as many years. The bids received are likely but a fraction of the initial investment.
The largest bid offered may not be the leading candidate, as a number of considerations will likely be debated in choosing a new owner. The ability to gain license approval from state gaming regulators, among other factors, will also play a role.
A plan to revitalize Atlantic City that has seen revenue decreases eight years running was put in place in 2011 by Gov. Chris Christie. That plan was boosted when online poker and gambling was enacted and launched last year, but took a hit this year when the Atlantic Club closed and the three other casinos threatened to follow.