The Real Deal New York

AC’s hyped Revel casino is falling flat

August 20, 2012 03:00PM

Since opening to much fanfare in April, Atlantic City’s $2.4 billion Revel casino has been a bust, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, and may be on the verge of bankruptcy. The casino had an operating loss of $35 million in the second quarter, according to the Division of Gaming Enforcement, although $17 million of it came from “one-time preopening charges.”

Meanwhile, conditions are improving for other boardwalk properties as non-gaming revenue increased 13.3 percent annually in Atlantic City.

The poor financial performance is especially jarring for many Atlantic City officials in light of the casino receiving more than $300 million in state funding and tax breaks. “Initially, Revel was supposed to be a winner that got all these state-funded advantages that no one else got. The real loser are the taxpayers,” Steven Lonegan, director of the New Jersey chapter of free-market economy advocates Americans for Prosperity, told the Inquirer.

Gaming analysts blame the casino’s struggles on its ultra high-end focus in a location that tends to attract more middle-class vacationers and day-trippers. Still, CEO Kevin DeSanctis said Revel “remain[s] confident in our economic model.” []Adam Fusfeld