Then There Were 9: Revel Casino Closed Tuesday Morning

atlantic_city_skylineCasino contraction has been talked about for several years in Atlantic City, but it was always a hypothetical; a down the road possibility.

But it’s real and it’s happening.

Even when the Atlantic Club closed its doors back in January many people were of the mindset, “well, that was an old casino, and it was inevitable it would close at some point.” Suffice it to say, after this Labor Day weekend it’s safe to say that Atlantic City no longer considers contraction a possibility, it happened, and the city is no longer the same place it was on Friday.

On Sunday the Showboat’s 27 year run in Atlantic City came to an end.

Just two days later, in the early AM hours on Tuesday, the Revel Casino joined the Showboat in hanging “closed” signs. The closing of the Revel ends what has been a tumultuous existence that began during the construction phase and lasted through their short two-year run, and is one of the most surprising casino closures of all-time.

Economic impact

Over the course of this Labor Day weekend the city of Atlantic City lost some 5,000 jobs between the two closures, although some of those employees will land on their feet at one of the city’s other casinos. Caesars CEO Gary Loveman told the press that 400 of the Showboat’s 2,000 employees have already been moved to positions at other Caesars’ properties.

Unfortunately, it’s not over.

In just two weeks it will get even worse, as the Trump Plaza is scheduled to close on September 16th, putting another 1,200 people out of work.

Including the Atlantic Club, over 7,500 jobs have been lost between the four casino closings this year.

A new dawn

In the short run this will be a very trying time for Atlantic City, but the hope is that these closures will lead to a reinvention of the city and of gambling. The status quo was simply unsustainable, and now New Jersey and Atlantic City have a chance to write a new chapter.

Still, it may continue to get worse before it gets better, as many analysts feel eight casinos in the city is still too many, but when the dust finally settles, the casinos that survive the purge should be in excellent shape financially, and can perhaps start reinvesting in their properties and in Atlantic City.

What will become of the shuttered casinos and the land they sit on is anyone’s guess. Perhaps a retail shopping center will be built. Perhaps an amusement park. Or perhaps someone will buy up the land and create something nobody can even fathom at this point.

The good news is, the pessimistic attitude of “what is going to happen to the casino industry” can now be replaced by optimism. Atlantic City is now a city with a number of possibilities in its future; no longer trying to hold on to a single faltering industry.

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