ATLANTIC CITY — The troubled Revel in Atlantic City still hopes to auction off its property but needs to close to stop big losses, a lawyer for it said.
Attorney John Cunningham said in bankruptcy court Monday that the casino is losing more than $1 million every week, The Press of Atlantic City reported.
“Our earnest hope is that we will have a successful auction,” Cunningham said. “But it takes two to tango. …It may be (that) some of the dust has to settle from the shutdown.”
The casino wanted to close on Monday, but state regulators denied the request and told it to stay open until Labor Day weekend.
The hearing, in front of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gloria Burns, was scheduled to approve a sale, but an auction last week was canceled. The judge set a hearing for Sept. 2, the day the casino is scheduled to close, to approve a sale if a satisfactory buyer emerges.
The closing of the $2.4 billion casino will put about 3,100 people out of work. The judge said she was “heartsick” at the casino’s inability to find a buyer.
A lawyer representing restaurants operating inside the casino demanded a more open process for the sale.
“If there’s only two casinos left in Atlantic City, this should be one of them,” said attorney Warren Martin.
Revel’s hotel will close at 11 a.m. on Sept. 1, and the casino will shut down at 5 a.m. on Sept. 2. It is one of three Atlantic City casinos due to shut down in the coming weeks. The Showboat is due to close Aug. 31, and Trump Plaza on Sept. 16.
Revel opened in April 2012 as the first new casino in Atlantic City since the Borgata opened nine years earlier, and it was seen as the last, best hope to provide a catalyst to jolt Atlantic City back to life. Revel has ranked near the bottom of Atlantic City’s casinos in terms of the amount of money won from gamblers since it opened.
The shutdowns are part of a rapid contraction of what was until just a few years ago the nation’s second-largest gambling market, after Nevada. Atlantic City, which now trails Nevada and Pennsylvania, has seen its casino revenue fall from $5.2 billion in 2006 to $2.86 billion last year. The city has lost thousands of casino jobs as more gambling halls open in the northeastern United States.
Atlantic City began the year with 12 casinos but will have eight before summer ends. The Atlantic Club shut down in January.