The Revel Casino in Atlantic City has not had an easy time since it opened two years ago. At 2.4 billion dollars to build, it is Atlantic City’s most expensive casino but now a report from the Unite Here – Local 54 trade union claims that the gigantic casino on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk may at the moment be worth only between 25 to 73 million dollars to a future buyer. The casino has been on the market for some time and the company is hoping that it will be sold before the end of this year.Revel Casino’s financial problems began early on during its construction. In 2009 a lack of finance for the project meant that work stopped on the site and then a year later, Morgan Stanley, the company which held a majority share in Revel sold out and the casino was saved only when the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie said that the state would invest in the casino receiving a 20 per cent share of its income in return.
This state investment and other finance raised at the time by the Revel Entertainment company meant that construction started again and the casino was finally opened in the spring of 2012. There had been great hopes that Revel with its 12 000 square metre casino offering players over 2500 slot machines and 120 gaming tables with roulette, baccarat, blackjack, craps and poker and other casino games would revitalise Atlantic City’s casino industry and attract more players. These hopes were never realised, the casino’s poker room closed in 2013 and in the same year the company declared itself bankrupt. At that time Revel’s debts were estimated at over one billion dollars.
The casino workers’ trade union, Unite Here Local 54 has been in conflict with the owners of the Revel Casino since it was in the process of being constructed. The company operates a non- union policy for its employees. While the casino – hotel’s owners claimed at the time of its bankruptcy last year that the company was worth about 450 million dollars, the Unite Here union claims that if it were to be sold at current market prices for casino land and for hotel rooms in Atlantic City that it would only fetch between 25 to 73 million dollars. The union has said that it wants any potential buyer to be aware of these prices in case a higher price is paid that could possibly lead to even more financial problems for the casino’s owners and so affect the casino’s workers in the future.