| CAMDEN, N.J., June 20
CAMDEN, N.J., June 20 Atlantic City's bankrupt
Revel Casino Hotel has received court approval to borrow $23.9
million that it said would keep the 1,400-room resort operating
for the coming month as it scrambles to find a buyer.
Revel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Thursday afternoon and
rushed to court early on Friday for a slew of court orders it
said were vital to pay its 3,140 employees, soothe nervous
vendors and honor programs that provide gamblers with key perks.
"The reality of the Revel situation today is that Revel has
lost this year alone $75 million," John Cunningham, a White &
Case attorney who represents the casino, told Judge Gloria
Burns. "Even in peak summer season, Revel losses $2 million a
week and relies on borrowed funds."
The loan is being provided by a unit of Wells Fargo, a
creditor of the hotel.
The company will return to court on July 11 and could seek
to increase the amount it borrows to $41.9 million.
The casino, which entered a two-month Chapter 11 bankruptcy
in March 2013, warned employees Thursday it would lay them all
off beginning on Aug. 18 if it could not find a buyer.
The bad news was the latest for the New Jersey seaside city.
Gamblers have been lured to new gaming options in nearby states
and the city has had to pay out millions to casinos that
successfully appealed property taxes as their values slumped.
Cunningham told the court Revel had been close to an
agreement for an unidentified party to act as an initial bidder
in an auction the company intends to hold in early August.
"It's time for bidders who have expressed interest to put
their money where their mouth is and participate in the
process," Cunningham told the court.
If no bidders emerge, the casino plans to close.
Despite the company's dire finances, a U.S. Department of
Justice official known as the U.S. Trustee, who acts as a
bankruptcy watchdog, objected to holding Friday's hearing
because it was called too quickly after the filing.
"What alternative is there?" Burns asked a lawyer for the
U.S. Trustee. "If they can't operate and the alternative means
closing the business, I'm not sure that's a good alternative."
When it opened in April 2012, Revel, built for $2.4 billion,
was a centerpiece of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's effort
to bring Las Vegas-quality gambling to Atlantic City's declining
Christie had provided a $261 million tax package to help
build Revel after Morgan Stanley, which had begun construction,
pulled out of the project two years ago and took a $932 million
"This looks more and more like Atlantic City Hilton,
although I hope not," said Jeffrey Sponder, a lawyer for the
U.S. Trustee, referring to a boardwalk hotel that closed earlier
(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by