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Caesars to close Showboat Atlantic City

FILE - In Friday June 27 2014 file phoThe ShowboCasino Hotel Atlantic City N.J. is seen hours after its parent

FILE - In a Friday June 27, 2014 file photo, The Showboat Casino Hotel in Atlantic City N.J., is seen hours after its parent company, Caesars Entertainment, announced it would shut down the Showboat on Aug. 31. It will be the second Atlantic City to close this year, along with The Atlantic Club, and a third may shut down as well if Revel Casino Hotel can't find a buyer in bankruptcy court. Atlantic City started the year with 12 casinos. By Labor Day, it could be down to nine. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry, File) ORG XMIT: NY113

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Casino contraction hit Atlantic City for the second time this year, as the parent company of the Showboat Casino Hotel announced it will close the Mardi Gras-themed casino on Aug. 31.

Caesars Entertainment said company will shutter the poorest-performing of its four Atlantic City casinos.

CEO Gary Loveman said in a statement that the “difficult decision” is necessary to protect the rest of its business in Atlantic City, where it currently owns four of the 11 casinos.

“While we regret the impact that this decision will have on our Showboat associates, we believe this is a necessary step to help stabilize our business in Atlantic City and support the viability of our remaining operations in the vicinity,” he said. “Since 2006, revenue in Atlantic City has declined by more than $3 billion and competition in the city has increased. The dynamic in Atlantic City has led us to the difficult but necessary decision to close Showboat.

“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,” he said.

The closing will also shutter the casino’s House Of Blues, one of New Jersey’s most popular concert venues.

It will be the second casino to close this year in the nation’s third-largest gambling market. The Atlantic Club closed in January, taken down in a bankruptcy sale by Caesars Entertainment and Tropicana Entertainment, who stripped it for parts and closed it to reduce competition.

And, Revel Casino Hotel has warned it might shut down if a buyer can’t be found in bankruptcy court.

Caesars said the Showboat will remain fully operational until Aug. 31. Guests with reservations after that date will be assisted in finding new accommodations, Loveman said.

He also said the company will work with the casino’s more than 2,100 workers to help them find jobs with other casinos Caesars Entertainment owns in New Jersey and elsewhere.

In addition to the Showboat, Caesars Entertainment owns Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, which ranks second to the Borgata in the amount of money won from gamblers each month, Caesars Atlantic City, and Bally’s Atlantic City. It also owns a casino in neighboring Pennsylvania.

Perhaps sensitive to criticism over the shutdown, Loveman said Caesars remains the largest casino owner in Atlantic City and is working to improve the resort.

“Caesars is developing a new, state-of-the-art meetings facility adjacent to Harrah’s Atlantic City, and is pursuing other opportunities to stimulate new visitation and growth, including recently overhauling the gaming floor at Bally’s and investing in new dining options throughout the company’s Atlantic City footprint,” Loveman said.

The company has not yet determined what will become of the Showboat property and land at the northern end of the Boardwalk, next to Revel.

AP



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