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Atlantic City Hurt By Revel's Bankruptcy Plans

Atlantic City had a plan for its resurgence within the casino gambling industry. Revel, a project that was supposed to reinvent and revolutionize the gaming industry, was coming in and was going to breathe life into the struggling AC casino industry.

Now, with the economic recession in the rear-view mirror and Revel opened to not much fanfare, the casino has dropped another dagger in the hearts of AC casino executives. This week, Revel announced that their renovation and expansion project is in jeopardy as the company reaches for bankruptcy protection.

Governor Chris Christie and other casino owners in Atlantic City tied their future resurgence to the glamorous prospects of a completed Revel resort. At the time, the industry was reeling from the recession, and in search of the perfect remedy to turn the fortunes around. Revel architects came along with a plan that would bring gamblers back to New Jersey.

The recession, however, cost Revel some of their financial backing, and the project was put on hold. In the aftermath, the casino finally opened, but has not met expectations. In January, the casino was the second-worst performing revenue producer in Atlantic City. With the project not complete, the allure has alluded gamblers to this point, and the bankruptcy announcement has the future looking even more bleak.

"This is certainly disappointing, but it is not unexpected," said State Senate President Stephen Sweeney.

The casino is touting the bankruptcy plan as the start of the reorganization of the project, rather than the end, and Sweeney agrees.

"The bottom line is that we have to make Revel work," said Sweeney. "It is too important to Atlantic City and the surrounding area not to see it turn around. Whether that turnaround happens through this bankruptcy filing, new management, or both remains to be seen. But something has to change."

New Jersey has gone from the second-largest gaming market in the US to the second market in the Northeast. Pennsylvania has emerged over the past five years as the new industry standard for casino gambling in the Northeast.

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