In two weeks the Showboat, left, and Revel, right, casinos have closed in Atlantic City. Pic: AP. Source: AP
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ANOTHER American city is falling victim to tough economic times, with a spectacular and costly failure of the gambling industry it is renowned for.
This week, Atlantic City's Revel Casino Hotel will close its doors. The $2.4 billion white elephant is shutting down just two years after it opened with high hopes of revitalising the struggling gambling market in the city.
It's the fourth casino to close this year in a city where 8000 workers will have lost their jobs as it faces major competition from neighbouring states.
The Revel casino has closed after just two years open. Pic: AP. Source: AP
"It's kind of sad," said Andrew Tannenbaum of Edison, who has stayed at Revel a dozen times in the past year.
"Compared to other casinos, this was a lot nicer. There wasn't the riffraff here. But I think they overspent, went overboard and got in over their heads. When the Borgata opened, that should have been the last of the high-end casinos for Atlantic City."
The Revel Casino had been unable to find a buyer after going bankrupt twice in two years.
Showboat has also closed down after 27 years, axing more than 2000 jobs. Source: AP
It's the second of three Atlantic City casinos to close in a two-week period. The Showboat Casino Hotel closed its doors Sunday, and Trump Plaza is closing September 16.
So what is killing them?
Analysts and competitors say Revel was hampered by bad business decisions and a fundamental misunderstanding of customers.
"The timing of it could not have been worse," said Mark Juliano, president of Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania and the former CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts in Atlantic City.
"The financial climate while Revel was developing and when it opened were completely different."
Revel officials declined to comment.
It comes after Showboat Casino was forced to close its doors, taking the number of people who lost their jobs in the last week to more than 5000.
However some officials say the city will do better with fewer casinos. Ratings agency Fitch released a report this week predicting that gambling revenue will stay in the city making other venues more popular.
The beach at Atlantic City. Pic: AP. Source: AP