Owners of the Revel Casino in Atlantic City still hold onto hope that a buyer will be found, but have announced a closing date of Sept. 2, 2014.
A lawyer for the casino, John Cunningham, told a bankruptcy judge at a hearing yesterday that bids received for the casino earlier this month undervalued the property considerably. There are no longer any sufficient bids on the table that would allow the Revel to stay open, he said.
Revel has been losing over $1 million per week and a shutdown early next month will allow the
bleeding to stop. Cunningham suggested that perhaps
some of the dust has to settle following the casino’s closing before a buyer with deep pockets emerges, the Press of Atlantic City reported.
Monday’s hearing was originally set by Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gloria Burns with the intention of her green-lighting the sale of the casino. The judge admitted to being
heartsick upon hearing that no qualified bids from potential buyers have been received and that a shutdown is imminent.
The Revel is only two years old and has been losing money from the get-go following its grand opening in April 2012. The shutdown in two weeks will send almost 3,000 workers to the unemployment line.
A number of bids were reportedly received by the Aug. 4 deadline, but an auction where bidders could amend their original offers was called off. Cunningham indicated that the value of the bids was more along the lines of purchasing the casino
for its space and parts.
The Atlantic Club closed and was stripped for parts in January after a joint bid by Caesars and Tropicana was approved. The Revel owners and New Jersey officials are hoping that the two-year-old casino can avoid the same fate.
Unless anything changes within the next few weeks, the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Showboat Casino Hotel and Revel will all be turning away gamblers by mid-September. Buyers for any of the three casinos would certainly be welcomed by an Atlantic City gaming industry that has collectively fallen on hard times.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has scheduled a summit for Sept. 8 to discuss the closings and to lay the groundwork for future plans with regard to the health and well-being of Atlantic City. The arrival of competing casinos in neighboring states has devasted the once-booming profits of the state’s casinos.
Online poker and gambling legislation was approved and enacted in the Garden State in 2013 with hopes of offsetting some of the decrease in profits seen on the land-based gaming ledger. New Jersey’s igaming scheme remains a work in progress and has been a regulatory success despite failing to meet lofty revenue projections thus far.