ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — When it opened just over two years ago, many people hoped Revel would save Atlantic City’s struggling casino industry, which has been bleeding money and jobs for years.
But now the $2.4 billion resort that was widely seen as the last, best chance for Atlantic City’s gambling market is shutting down, unable to find a buyer for even pennies on the dollar.
In addition to putting 3,100 people out of jobs and hurting state and local budgets, Revel’s demise shows just how cutthroat the East Coast casino market has become, and how difficult it is for even the newest and nicest gambling halls to survive in an oversaturated market.
Revel Entertainment said the casino and its 1,399 hotel rooms will close on Sept. 10, never having turned a profit.
“We regret the impact this decision has on our Revel employees who have worked so hard to maximize the potential of the property,” Revel said in a statement Tuesday. “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,” the company wrote.
Revel’s most recent Chapter 11 filing listed assets of $486.9 million and liabilities of $476.1 million.
The company said its situation was compounded by a “considerable non-controllable expense structure” that financially burdened the property. It said it had no choice but “an orderly wind-down of the business at this time.”
Revel said it still hopes to find a buyer through the bankruptcy process. But it acknowledged that if that happened, it would be after the facility had already shut down.
Matthew Levinson, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, called the closing “enormously disappointing,” but held out hope for a future sale.
“I sincerely hope that possibility materializes, especially for the employees who face the loss of their jobs,” he said.
Israel Posner, who runs a tourism and gambling study institute at Richard Stockton College, said he expects Revel to sell as a non-casino building.