Despite last minute tours and hopes for the best, two Atlantic City casinos will officially close their doors by Tuesday, Sept 2.
The Showboat will turn away gamblers on Sunday, Aug. 31, and the failed Revel experiment will finally end two days later. Trump Plaza previously announced its shutdown for Sept. 16.
Last Minute Interest Couldn’t Save Showboat
The buzz around Atlantic City on Tuesday was that Caesars Entertainment was giving tours of the Showboat to “prospective buyers.” Unfortunately, these tours failed to produce an offer.
According to Businessweek.com, a Caesars spokesperson revealed on Wednesday that while there was indeed last minute interest from potential buyers, the casino would not be operating beyond 4 p.m. Sunday.
Wednesday was the first time that the company would go on record publicly on a closing date. They did state that offers for the casino are still being accepted and they would sell the property if it made financial sense.
Revel to Close Sept. 2
The failed multi-billion dollar experiment known as Revel will finally conclude on Tuesday. The property is scheduled to officially close at 6 a.m. on Sept. 2, but Sunday is effectively its final full day of operation.
In a statement from the company, it was revealed that a number of debtors will begin removing perishable goods, alcohol and equipment after certain internal establishments close at their normal business hours.
If you have vouchers or casino chips and cannot make it to Revel by Tuesday, you will have up to two weeks to redeem them. Anyone failing to redeem chips or vouchers before Sept. 15 will be forced to petition the bankruptcy court for payment.
What’s Next For Displaced Workers
Those hit hardest by this weekend’s closings and the closing of Trump Plaza next month are the 8,000 employees who will find themselves unemployed.
According to NBCPhiladelphia.com, Atlantic City will be offering assistance for former casino workers with the program slated to begin in October. Per the report, approximately 1,200 workers a year will be helped.
Job training programs through the city and Atlantic Cape Community College will be available to former workers, but odds are that many will go outside the state to secure employment.
According to AC Mayor Don Guardian, up to 30% of former AC casino workers could go to other states to seek jobs. Maryland Live! casinos are one viable possibility. The company has been recently conducting job fairs in the city in anticipation of casino closings.
Even if 30% leave the state, that’s still over 5,000 former employees looking for work. Approximately 1,300 new jobs will be created in the city soon, but that will still leave a solid number of workers unemployed. Unless one or more of the casinos are sold and reopened, many families could be facing some lean times in the upcoming months.
Which Casinos Might Reopen?
While each of the three closing properties is entertaining offers, one has to wonder which has the best chance of reopening as an actual casino.
Revel is the newest property in Atlantic City, but has lost a ton of value since opening. Once valued at $2.4 billion, the property was worth just $450 million in 2013.
While recent offers on the property have not been released, Revel will easily be the most expensive of the three properties. However, with that higher price tag comes a casino that could be ready to reopen in a short amount of time.
Based on past behavior and rumored intentions, the Showboat may be the least likely property to reopen as a casino. When Caesars and Tropicana bought the Atlantic Club, they stripped the property and Caesars later sold the building to a non-casino entity.
Considering that Caesars is looking to consolidate their own casino holdings, it doesn’t make sense for them to sell to a competitor. When they say they may sell if the deal makes financial sense, they could mean if the entity isn’t planning to use the property as a casino.
Out of the three, Trump Plaza could be the best deal for someone looking to enter the AC market. The last time the property was on the market in 2013, it almost sold for $20 million. One has to assume the current asking price will come down, making it a potential steal.
In the short-term, Trump Plaza is the best bet to reopen. Long-term, someone will likely gamble on Revel and with the right management, win big. Don’t be surprised to see the Showboat still vacant two years from now or with a non-casino entity.