(Adds quote from mayor, experts)
By Daniel Kelley
Aug 12 The bankrupt Revel Casino Hotel in
Atlantic City is set to close by Sept. 10 after its owner failed
to find a buyer for the 1,400-room resort, marking the latest
casualty for the struggling New Jersey gambling center.
Revel Entertainment Group LLC, which operates Atlantic
City's newest casino hotel, filed for bankruptcy protection in
June and received court approval to borrow $23.9 million in an
effort to keep the resort operating for another month while it
searched for a new owner.
"Despite the effort to improve the financial performance of
Revel, it has not proven to be enough to put the property on a
stable financial footing," Revel AC, the parent of Revel
Entertainment, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Revel's closure would put some 3,100 people out of work,
according to the state Department of Labor, adding to thousands
of other job losses expected in the city as at least three other
casinos shut down.
The announcement by the Revel, which said it would continue
looking for a buyer, comes five days after a scheduled auction
of the property was postponed to Thursday to allow more time to
"While we continue to hope for a sale of Revel, in some
form, through the pending bankruptcy process, Revel cannot avoid
an orderly wind-down of the business at this time," it said.
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian held out hope that a buyer
would convert the 57-story building - one of the state's tallest
- to other uses.
"This might be Revel's last chapter, but not the last one
for this building. My administration remains committed to the
workers, the businesses, and the visitors who are impacted by
today's news," Guardian said in a statement.
Revel, built at a cost of $2.4 billion and opened in April
2012, just as the city's fortunes were going into steep decline,
has been hurt as new gaming options in nearby Pennsylvania and
Delaware siphon away visitors.
The company has said it was losing $2 million a week, even
in the busy summer season.
The casino resort was designed to have two towers with a
total of 3,800 hotel rooms, said Israel Posner, a gaming expert
at Richard Stockton College. Instead, a single tower with 1,400
rooms was built.
But the gaming floor was not similarly downsized, leaving it
to feel cavernous and lifeless.
"A casino, for it to work, needs to feel exciting and
vibrant," Posner said. "In a sense, Revel was never completed."
Revel was supposed to usher in a new era of Vegas-style
resort that combined gambling with nightclubs, and upscale
Even as its gaming revenues came up short, Atlantic City
tourism officials pointed to its robust entertainment revenue as
evidence that the city could re-market itself as a leisure
destination that was not dependant on gambling.
Gaming revenue for Atlantic City, which once held a
lucrative East Coast gambling monopoly, has dropped from its
2006 peak of $5.2 billion to $2.8 billion, according to state
The Revel's closing could leave Atlantic City with a third
fewer casinos than at the start of the year, when 12 casinos
were in operation.
In July, Trump Plaza Hotel announced it would close in
September. The Atlantic Club casino was sold and shut down in
January and the Showboat Atlantic City, one of the city's
largest properties, announced it will close at the end of
(Reporting by Daniel Kelley; Writing by Laila Kearney; Editing
by Barbara Goldberg, Bill Trott and Andrea Ricci)