The Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City initiated bankruptcy proceedings late last week and is seeking a buyer with deep pockets in order to remain open.
Following a grand opening a little over two years ago, the Revel now finds itself in bankruptcy court for the second time in as many years with a shutdown looming if a buyer cannot be found. With roughly 3,200 employees, the New Jersey economy would take a serious hit if the Revel is forced to close its doors.
That possibility was announced to Revel workers via a notice from the casino’s president, who informed his employees that the company is “seeking to sell Revel to a new owner who we anticipate would have the ability to provide the funding and long-term commitment to help Revel reach its full potential,” the Press of Atlantic City reported.
It’s not a good day for Atlantic City,” said New Jersey Sen. Jim Whelan. “It (the much-ballyhooed Revel opening) has not worked out the way all of us have hoped.”
Atlantic City casinos as a whole have experienced seven consecutive years of declining revenue, the result of casino expansion in neighboring states. It is one reason why online gambling legislation has been enacted in New Jersey, but like the Revel, those igaming expectations have fallen way short of the mark.
The first Revel bankruptcy filing came in March of last year, with legal proceedings completed two months later. The latest filing looks even more grim, as the threat of a shutdown could reduce the state’s operating casinos to 10.
That number was reduced from 12 to 11 earlier this year when the Atlantic Club closed after a bankruptcy auction. Tropicana and Caesars made a successful $23.4 million joint bid with the former gaining the gaming equipment. Caesars retained the property but has since sold the property to a Florida-based developer known for refurbishing such holdings into senior-friendly housing.
Caesars is also said to be considering closing one of its four Atlantic City casinos due to lack of revenue and mounting operating costs. Among its holdings of Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s, Bally’s and Showboat, chances are that the latter may lock its doors and turn away gamblers if Caesars chooses to go that route.
The Revel will operate per usual during the bankruptcy action. Short-term financing has been secured until a new buyer (savior) emerges.