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Revel Casino Project Obtains Needed Funding for Green Light in Atlantic City

15 February 2011 by Devon Chappell

The quarter-built Revel Casino of Atlantic City...

The quarter-built Revel Casino of Atlantic City...

I never thought I’d hear that a new casino was going up in Atlantic City, but I have to say that I’m damn glad one is. Atlantic City has been needing a revival for several years, and with things looking better in Las Vegas and positive signs on the “boardwalk” herself, AC could be making a comeback

This casino sent from above was actually sent a while back. Known as the Revel Casino Development, the project was originally proposed last year, soon after fizzling out and prompting some to call it doomed…a “white elephant” in the investment world. However, the Revel’s main backer, Morgan Stanley, brought the project back to life in December, securing badly needed investment commitments worth $850 million from J.P. Morgan Chase.

With a further $70 million in loans from the online gambling friendly Governor, Chris Christie (part of a 20-year tax rebate package worth $261, which Morgan Stanley came under fire for), it looks promising for the deal to go through.

The fully-built Revel Casino of Atlantic City in all its glory...

The fully-built Revel Casino of Atlantic City in all its glory...

Critics of the Revel Casino package believe the Revel will only “cannibalize'” an already depressed casino gambling market, which I can’t say that I disagree with. Success of the project largely depends on expanding Atlantic City into a resort and conference destination, i.e. a Las Vegas. Another thing that could potentially go against the Revel is that it’s location is the outskirts of the casino and boardwalk district. Let’s just say there are a lot of abandoned homes in the area. And the Revel aims to build 1,100 rooms (downscaled from 1,900).

As for the competition in AC, it was the Borgota Casino’s recent improvement in slot machines money that gave the Revel’s developers new hope in getting the project green-lighted. And it will be this competition which the Revel will need to at least match in revenue in order to be a success. The Borgota is AC’s newest and most successful casino, and a formidable competitor at that. Unless more business comes to Atlantic City (with gambling expansion in nearby Pennsylvania, mind you), the Revel could indeed gut out the rest of the town. Then again, the Revel might get gutted itself.

It is indeed a risky investment, in my opinion. But isn’t that gambling? Shouldn’t the casinos have to face a high House Edge too? If they get the right cards dealt, the Revel could indeed usher in the “resort” transformation Atlantic City so badly needs.

The fully-built Revel Casino of the Atlantic City of... my dreams...

The fully-built Revel Casino of the Atlantic City of...Orlando? Atlantic City, is that you?

They did it in Vegas. The Strip blossomed off of Freemont Street. Steve Wynn puts up his Encore Casino and it vitalizes the north end of the Strip. The question is whether the Revel Casino will be a Wynn Encore that only helps to expand Atlantic City. It can be. I say the Revel’s developers have to put in more money than less. If you’re going to do it, go all in. I think that’s what helped make Las Vegas so successful – a shimmering isle of grandeur (at its best) in the middle of a desert. In Atlantic City, where the outskirts are indeed a desert of sorts, a rising phoenix will become an attraction that people will come to see – of which the overspill will go to the rest of Atlantic City.

If you ask me, it’s just another reason why Governor Christie should sign the bill that will effectively legalize online gambling into law. Atlantic City Casino operators will have exclusive rights to launch real money online casinos, and that will, in turn, help them get out of the hole, keep afloat during this transition period and ultimately help revitalize and reinvent Atlantic City from the ground up. Keep your fingers…and toes crossed.

One Response to “Revel Casino Project Obtains Needed Funding for Green Light in Atlantic City”

  1. brian says:

    Hi I can provide lending for this new casino.
    send me an e-mail and we can talk.
    thanks Brian