Revel still will save Atlantic City, Christie says

LITTLE FERRY – Gov. Chris Christie affirmed his belief Wednesday that Revel Casino will save Atlantic City despite the casino’s investors announcing they plan to file for bankruptcy next month.

The governor said the announcement only confirms investors’ commitment to Atlantic City because of their decision to file Chapter 11 rather than close shop.

“The fact of the matter is what’s happening here is merely a shifting of Revel’s debt load to equity,” Christie said.

“They are investing in Atlantic City,” he added. “If they thought there was no future there they could close it down.”

The move by Revel’s investors will wipe out about two-thirds of its $1.5 billion in debt by converting more than $1 billion of it into equity to be paid to the casino’s lenders. The pre-packaged bankruptcy will allow the casino to continue to operate under a restructured debt load.

The casino opened in April to great fanfare and was touted as the crown jewel that would spark a resurgence in Atlantic City.  But the casino, an enigma to the city that has long been the stepchild to the glitzier Las Vegas and in more modern days has lost revenue to casinos in Connecticut and more recently Pennsylvania, never caught on among the city’s faithful.

As for the bankruptcy, Christie says residents should not worry about Atlantic City’s future.

“Folks should understand that this is something that happens at times in business,” he said. “The other thing people should be assured of is not a nickel of taxpayer moneys has gone into Revel.”

"It’s not a political environment that’s particularly warm for incumbents, but it looks like Booker has little to be worried about as the campaign season draws to a close."
—Krista Jenkins, poll director and professor of political science, FDU.