It is really getting to the point where I would hesitate to visit Atlantic City just because the mood there has got to be so horrible that I wouldn’t enjoy myself. The latest bad news coming out of the former east coast gambling mecca: the Revel Casino and Hotel will close in a month after nobody bought it in a bankruptcy auction. It will be the fourth Atlantic City casino to close in the past year, bringing the total casino count down to eight.
Unlike some of the other dead casinos, the Revel never had a hey-day. The $2.4 billion property has only been open for two years and was a financial failure from day one. A year ago, it closed its poker room after coming out of bankruptcy protection. In an effort to encourage more customers to visit, it actually ran a promotion in which anyone who lost more than $100 at the slot machines would receive a refund. It wasn’t a straight refund – it was split up into 20 equal installments over the course of 20 weeks and players had to go to the casino to receive it – but it was still a promotion that reeked of desperation.
Revel also tried to refocus on attracting local and regional players and brought smoking back to the casino. Nothing worked.
Of course, the most significant repercussion of the Revel’s closing is not the loss of another gaming property, but the loss of local jobs. Approximately 3,200 people will lose their jobs in a month, adding to the thousands that became unemployed after the closing of the Atlantic Club, the Trump Plaza, and the Showboat.
Revel released the following statement this week, confirming the closing of the property:
Revel AC, Inc. (the “Company” or “Revel”), the parent company of Revel Entertainment Group, LLC, announced today that Revel Casino and Hotel will cease operations no later than September 10, 2014, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals.
We regret the impact this decision has on our Revel employees who have worked so hard to maximize the potential of the property. We thank them for their professionalism and dedication; however we are faced with several unavoidable circumstances.
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. This situation is compounded by the considerable non-controllable expense structure that has financially burdened the property.
In addition, challenges have arisen in our attempts to sell Revel as a going concern. 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.
Thoughtful consideration was given to the impact on our guests, our employees and the employees of our associated tenants. We hope that Revel can be a successful and vital component of Atlantic City under a proper ownership and reorganized expense structure.
We will continue to endeavor toward a placement with such an owner, but there can be no assurance as to the outcome of the pending bankruptcy process.
Revel will honor reservations and deposits while Revel remains open.