Three casino close in Atlantic City

Craig D. Frazier | 9/4/2014, 11:12 a.m.

Special to the AmNews

The most remarkable and costly failure in Atlantic City’s 36-year history of casino gambling began to play out this week when Atlantic City said goodbye to three casinos. Monday, the 27-year-old Showboat Casino Hotel and the Revel closed their doors. Showboat’s owners, Caesars Entertainment, closed the casino, which was still making money, to eliminate competition with their other casinos, Caesars, Harrah’s and Bally’s.

The $2.4 billion Revel Casino Hotel opened in 2012 and lost its ante even with tax incentives from Gov. Chris Christie. “The timing of it could not have been worse,” said Mark Juliano, president of Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania and former CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts in Atlantic City. “The financial climate while Revel was developing and when it opened were completely different.”

A huge power plant proved enormously costly. Some potential buyers in bankruptcy court reportedly were intimidated by the enormous expense of the heating, cooling and electrical plant. They sought to exclude it from their purchase offers. Juliano said Revel apparently hoped there would be additional development in the immediate area that it could sell utility service to, but that never materialized.

According to the Associated Press, Trump Plaza, which announced in mid-July its plans to close Sept. 16, will leave more than 1,000 employees out of a job. Showboat and Revel will add 5,000 former employees to that total.