The casino, which had gone through Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March
2013, warned employees on Thursday that it would lay them all off
beginning on Aug. 18 if it could not find a buyer, according to a
letter sent to staff, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.It is
the latest bit of bad news for the New Jersey seaside city, which
has lost gambling customers as venues in nearby states expand and as
the city has had to pay out millions to casino that successfully
appealed property taxes as their values slumped.
Revel said it was seeking a buyer who would "have the ability to
provide the funding and long-term commitment to help Revel reach its
full potential." The casino said it would shut its doors if it could
not find one, according to the letter sent to staff.
The company said in a statement it will continue to operate normally
while in bankruptcy.
"We will work to reach an agreement with a new owner who ... shares
our commitment to providing Revel’s guests and players an
exceptional experience,” Scott Kreeger, president and chief
operating officer, said in the statement.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 gaming business.
Christie had provided a $261 million tax package to help build Revel
after Morgan Stanley, which had begun building the casino, pulled
out of the project two years ago and took a $932 million loss.
Revel never lived up to financial projections, filing for bankruptcy
in March 2013 and emerging two months later.
Casino revenue from Atlantic City has roughly halved since 2007,
while total U.S. casino revenue in 2012 was still shy of a 10-year
peak of $37.5 billion in 2007, according to the American Gaming
[to top of second column]
Compression in big gambling markets like Atlantic City can be
attributed in part to increased efforts by states to expand their
own gambling offerings in search of new revenue sources, CIT's Steve
Epperly said in a report this week.
In Philadelphia, only about an hour's drive from Atlantic City, a
court this week paved the way for more gambling, rejecting an effort
to block a gaming license.Revel's workers, who in June voted to
unionize with Unite-HERE Local 54, supported the search for a
buyer."We believe a sale of Revel to a buyer who wants to keep the
property open and retain the employees is the best thing for the
workers," Unite-HERE President Bob McDevitt said.
(Reporting by Hilary Russ, Nick Brown; Additional reporting by
Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Bernard Orr and Leslie Adler)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.