US casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corporation has confirmed that it will close the Showboat Atlantic City, one of its four venues in New Jersey, due to falling revenue and high property tax rates.
Caesars confirmed Friday that the venue will remain fully operational until Sunday August 31st, when it closes its doors for the final time.
The company’s chairman and chief executive Gary Loveman explained that while he regretted the impact it would have on the venue’s staff and associates, he believed it was a necessary step in order to stabilise Caesars' business in Atlantic City and keep its other three venues open.
Loveman pointed to the fact that earnings in Atlantic City had declined by more than $3bn, with competition in the city increasing at the same time.
“We sincerely appreciate the service, dedication and professionalism shown by the employees of the Showboat over the years to provide our customers with incredible experiences,” Loveman added.
A reported 2,100 employees are set to lose their jobs, with Caesars offering the Showboat’s employees assistance including preference for available positions at the other three venues in Atlantic City and in sister properties across the region.
The operator remains the largest casino company in Atlantic City, owning the Bally’s, Caesars and Harrah’s venues, and is continuing efforts to revitalise the city. It is currently developing a new conference centre next to Harrah’s, has overhauled the gaming floor at Bally’s, and is looking to invest in new dining options at each casino.
Caesars is yet to decide what it will do with the Showboat property, or the land it is built on, and will collaborate with Atlantic City and state officials to evaluate alternative uses for the land.
Opened in 1987, Showboat has been owned by the operator since 1998, when it acquired Showboat Inc.
Showboat will become the second Atlantic City casino to shut this year, after the Atlantic Club Casino closed its doors on January 13th, after its owners Colony Capital blocked the venue’s acquisition by PokerStars operator Rational Group.
Atlantic Club’s assets were acquired by Tropicana and Caesars in a Section 363 auction in December last year for $23.4m. Tropicana paid $8.4m for the venue’s gaming assets, while Caesars took charge of its non-gaming assets, namely its hotel and fittings, for $15m.