Temporary Control Of Revel Casino In Atlantic City Goes To Chatham
Revel Casino Hotel was expected to be the savior for the Atlantic City gaming industry after the economic recession of 2008. The casino, which was going to modernize AC, was being built with billions of dollars invested, with the hopes of reviving the New Jersey gaming market.
That plan came to a crashing halt when financing ran out shortly after the recession. When the facility was finally opened, it did so to much fanfare. Despite the attraction for gamblers, Revel fell well short of expectations, signaling the final changing of the guard in the Northeast.
With one bankruptcy under its belt, Revel majority shareholders Chatham Asset Management secured the approval this week of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission to seize control of Revel. Whether that means Chatham will be a long-term solution, is yet unknown.
At the hearing to announce the approval, Chatham Principal Evan Ratner explained that the company is looking into all options for Revel. By not disclosing a specific plan, Ratner led industry experts to believe that the company would be seeking to sell, or take Revel through another round of bankruptcy.
Some interesting names have popped up as possible investors into the facility. The Seminole Tribe of Florida has expressed their interest in purchasing Revel. The Seminoles currently have a monopoly on table gaming in Florida, with a compact the tribe signed with former Governor Charlie Crist set to expire in 2015.
Caesars Entertainment, with casinos throughout the US, is another potential buyer. Caesars has made their move into the Northeast over the past decade, and believes they could prosper in the second-largest gaming market on the East Coast.
Two years ago, Pennsylvania overtook New Jersey, for second, behind only Nevada in terms of overall casino revenue. New Jersey made some changes to their state law, specifically authorizing online casinos, in an effort to regain the top spot in the Northeast.
Workers unions were present at the commission hearings this week, with the hope of preserving casino employee jobs. Thousands of workers have been laid off in recent years in Atlantic City casinos, and the union wants to ensure no further workers are lost in the cost-cutting measures of the Revel.