Future Could Hold Several Possibilities for Revel Atlantic City
Revel may be Atlantic City’s newest casino, having opened to great fanfare in April of 2012, but unfortunately for the property it is suffering the same fate of many of the city’s dozen land-based casinos. That reality is financial hardship and a struggle to attract gamblers and revenue.
This week the Press of Atlantic City published an interview with Revel’s President, Scott Kreeger, in which he shares his thoughts on the way forward for the beleaguered property, which cost some $2.4 billion to construct and was bankrupt within a year of opening its doors.
Last month we reported that a potential sale of the casino was not out of the question. Earlier this year, Revel cut an equity for debt deal with its creditors, enabling it to stealthily enter and exit from bankruptcy protection.
No specific timetable
Kreeger told the Press that while a sale might still be in the cards for Revel, the property is open to dipping its toes into the state’s brand new real money online betting market.
New Jersey became the third state in the nation to begin offering online wagering when six Atlantic City casinos launched real money wagering web sites in late November. Whatever the future holds for Revel, Kreeger stressed that the property is not hewing to any sort of timetable.
“When we look at how quickly can we make Revel competitive in the marketplace … we would be remiss if we didn’t look for opportunities to potentially partner with folks, to do affiliation marketing programs with other casino companies, (the) potential of a joint venture partnership, (the) potential of a sale of the asset — any number of things that we’re exploring right now,” Kreeger said in the interview.
“It really depends on how many people show interest and what type of interest they have in the property,” he said.
Upon exiting from bankruptcy last spring, Revel worked to re-brand the property. When it first opened, the casino offered higher end amenities and famously enforced a no smoking policy, a rule it reversed along with lowering price points in restaurants as part of its efforts to right its financial ship.
Atlantic Club facing similar uncertainty
The other Atlantic City casino to go bankrupt this year, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, finds itself in a similar position. The Atlantic Club drew a lot of attention earlier this year when it entered into – and then infamously out of – a deal with the world’s largest online poker room, PokerStars.
PokerStars had forked over $11 million toward a $15 million purchase price when the Atlantic Club pulled the plug on the deal, citing PokerStars’ failure to secure an interim operating license prior to a drop-dead date stipulated in the purchase contract both companies signed in December of 2012.
PokerStars went on to team up with the oldest of the twelve land-based casinos in Atlantic City, Resorts Inc., though it bears mentioning that the company has yet to be licensed to operate in the New Jersey regulated market.
The Atlantic Club, meanwhile, went bankrupt and is on the auction block, with the results of the bidding expected later on this month. As the newly-launched Garden State online betting business requires that all online gambling operations be tied to a land-based casino property in the state’s gaming mecca, the Atlantic Club may well fetch some interesting bidders.
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