Last call at Atlantic City's Revel: a few bettors, $5 bottles, state cops

Tue Sep 2, 2014 1:38pm EDT
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By Daniel Kelley

ATLANTIC CITY N.J. (Reuters) - Shortly before sunrise on Tuesday, Morgan Capezzera reclined on the roulette table at the Revel Casino in her bikini and snapped a selfie before the Atlantic City gambling hall shut its doors for good.

"I love Revel," said Capezzera, 30, of Toms River, New Jersey, who spent most of the day at the casino. "I lost, but I don't care."

She was one of few fans who came out for the closing night of a two-year-old casino once heralded by Governor Chris Christie as a new model for the down-on-its-luck New Jersey shore gambling hub.

The $2.4 billion project this year went into bankruptcy for the second time in its short history and is one of four Atlantic City casinos to announce that it would shut its doors this year, taking a heavy toll on the budget in a city where the property tax base is expected to fall to $10 billion by 2015, less than half its 2010 level.

Revel closed with a whimper during the Labor Day holiday weekend, its final gasps coming from the bar, where staff sold opened bottles of liquor to the last customers for $5.

Its 57-story hotel was dark on Monday, and by the evening waiters at some of the independently owned restaurants that had stayed open greeted diners by reciting the list of dishes that were no longer available.

Management had advertised a 5 a.m. closing time intended to give gamblers time to cash out before the doors closed an hour later. But with just a dozen people, the roulette and blackjack tables remained open till almost 6 a.m. Meanwhile, state troopers patrolled the floor to guard against vandalism, which had marred the closing of the Atlantic Club earlier this year.

"I thought everyone and their mother would be here," said Sara Pully, 29, of Bergenfield, New Jersey. "It's the last night."   Continued...

People walk on the boardwalk in front of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey September 1, 2014. REUTERS/Tom Mihalek