It’s time to see what’s happening in the live casino world. This week, we’re taking a look at all the developments in Atlantic City. As it happens, they’re all good-news stories, so read on.
Revel Casino to undergo $200 million renovation
It seems like just yesterday that we were complaining about how Revel was an embarrassment, having opened just 2 years ago and now completely shuttered. But in the blink of an eye, it looks like things are changing.
The new owners of Revel are planning to spend $200 million to renovate the property before reopening it. The company that owns it, Brookfield, also owns The Atlantis in the Bahamas and Hard Rock in Las Vegas. It’s not clear what brand they plan to tack on to Revel or if the property will retain its name, but the $200 million in renovations is interesting because it’s almost twice the purchase price. Brookfield bought the property for just $110 million after it went bankrupt.
Showboat to reopen as a college campus
When Revel first closed its doors in Atlantic City, there was speculation that it would reopen as a college campus. After all, at just 2 years old, the property is fairly impeccable and would be any student’s dream. While it would need to undergo some renovations to retrofit the property for educational use, it wouldn’t require a lot. With Toronto-based Brookfield buying Revel and noting that they plan to reopen the property as a casino, that plan went out the window.
But that doesn’t mean the boardwalk won’t evolve into a mixed-use destination. The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey has agreed to buy the former Showboat Casino. They plan to turn it into a satellite campus. Caesars sold the property on August 31st.
This is great news for Atlantic City. The city, which once relied on gambling, is facing increased competition from neighboring states. This year alone, four casinos have closed down. While Revel is slated to reopen in 2015, it doesn’t look like others will.
Atlantic City won’t become the next Detroit
State legislators are hard at work with a plan to make sure Atlantic City doesn’t start looking like Detroit. The goal is to stabilize the city that is suffering from 8,000 job losses due to the closing of four casinos. And the plan looks pretty decent. The legislation that will be introduced will redirect casino tax revenue to make sure the city and schools keep running. It will also require that casino operators provide health benefits to employees. If they don’t, they won’t qualify for a state license to operate a casino. That’s a genius idea and something that we wish more casinos around the world did for their employees.