US – Revel to close doors September 10By Lewis - 13 August 2014
The opening in 2012 of the $2.6bn Revel Casino Hotel was heralded as the start of the transformation of Atlantic City, but instead, as the resort closes its doors and lays off all employees no later than September 10, it has instead dealt a massive blow to the New Jersey seaside resort.
Despite the scheduling of a bankruptcy auction for tomorrow, the plug has been pulled on the bidding after Revel failed to attract any qualified offers. “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 Entertainment Group, the casino’s parent company, said in a statement yesterday.
Revel employed 3,187 workers as of June, according to state figures. It was the fourth-highest casino employer in Atlantic City among the 12 casinos at the time. In a letter sent to employees when it filed for Chapter 11 protection in June, Revel warned that without a buyer it would be forced to shut its doors and all employees would be let go. It joins The Atlantic Club, which closed in January; and the planned shutting of Caesars’ Showboat on Aug. 31 and Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino Sept. 16. The moves affects 7,800 employees.
The closings would leave the city with eight casinos, down from as many as 12, and may increase the jobless rate from June’s 13.1 per cent level, about double the state average. Gambling venues account for almost half the city’s jobs: 5,883 positions in a workforce of 13,500.
Much of the blame for Atlantic City’s falling revenues has been placed on its over-reliance on gambling revenues. Over 70 percent of taxes come from casinos, whose revenue has slid for seven straight years as competition from neighbouring states intensifies. Gambling accounts for 78 per cent of revenue generated in Atlantic City, compared with 34 per cent in Las Vegas. While Las Vegas has rebounded since the recession, drawing tourists with conventions and restaurants, Atlantic City remains largely a place for gambling day-trippers.