Revel wanted to close Atlantic City casino Monday

August 17, 2014 - 9:04 PM

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — If the owners of Revel Casino Hotel had their way, the $2.4 billion resort would have been shut down on Monday.

Revel Entertainment had asked New Jersey casino regulators for permission to close down on Aug. 18. But the state Division of Gaming Enforcement denied the request, eventually prevailing upon Revel to remain open until Labor Day weekend.

Revel's hotel will close at 11 a.m. Sept. 1, and the casino will shut down at 5 a.m. the next morning.

The talks were revealed in a closing order for Revel issued late Friday night by the gaming enforcement division.

The order said Revel Entertainment Group and lender Wells Fargo, which has provided financing to the company to get it through bankruptcy court, had asked for permission to shut down on Aug. 18. It was signed by Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck, who wrote that a weeklong delay of a bankruptcy court sale for Revel triggered a default under its financing agreement for missing a key deadline.

Rebuck wrote that the Division felt that up to 30 days would be needed for an orderly shutdown of Revel, particularly since it hadn't yet filed a petition seeking to close.

But the casino and the lender would only push their closing date back by one day, to Aug. 19 at 6 a.m., Rebuck wrote.

Further talks among the three parties on Friday resulted in the agreement to close Revel on Sept. 1 and 2. It is contingent on Revel filing an acceptable shutdown plan to the gaming enforcement division by Monday night.

Revel is one of three Atlantic City casinos due to shut down in the coming weeks.

The Showboat is due to close Aug. 31, and Trump Plaza on Sept. 16.

The division will need to issue closing orders for each of those properties as well. A spokeswoman said the division is reviewing the status of those casinos.

The shutdowns are part of a rapid contraction of what was until just a few years ago the nation's second-largest gambling market. Atlantic City, which now trails Nevada and Pennsylvania, has seen its casino revenue fall from $5.2 billion in 2006 to $2.86 billion last year. The city has lost thousands of casino jobs as more gambling halls open in the northeastern United States.

Atlantic City began the year with 12 casinos, but will have eight before summer ends. The Atlantic Club shut down in January.

Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC