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Atlantic City's newest casino emerges from bankruptcy

By 69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: May 21 2013 04:29:25 PM CDT

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -

Who says the house always wins?

Atlantic City's Revel casino lost $149 million from its April 2012 opening through the end of March.

Success may not yet be a sure bet, but the struggling casino formally emerged from bankruptcy court Tuesday.

The pre-planned Chapter 11 action wiped out $1.2 billion of the casino's $1.5 billion debt by giving lenders 82 percent ownership.

Jeffrey Hartmann, the casino's interim CEO, said Revel is now free to concentrate on growing the business in the Northeast's hyper-competitive market.

The $2.4 billion resort opened 13 months ago with sky-high hopes, including that the new casino hotel would help turn around Atlantic City's sagging fortunes.

But business decisions were made for Revel that flew in the face of what had worked when things were going well for Atlantic City.  It  banned smoking, didn't offer a buffet, turned its back on bus-riding day trippers and focused on upscale leisure travelers more than slot-playing senior citizens.

Also, construction of Revel started just before the economy cratered and it was too far along to scrap when things were at their worst. Revel's owners decided not to build a second hotel tower when the project ran out of money halfway through construction.

Located on the boadwalk, Revell has 1,399 hotel rooms and a 130,000-square-foot casino with more than 2,400 slot machines and 130 table games.

In filings with securities regulators, Revel said it was worth no more than $450 million and it could take four years to become fully profitable.

Revel has ranked near the bottom of Atlantic City's 12 casinos in terms of the amount of money won from gamblers and Atlantic City has lost its position as the nation's No. 2 market to Pennsylvania