- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A New Jersey casino touted by Gov. Chris Christie as the moneymaking force that would revive Atlantic City has prepared bankruptcy papers, according to various media reports.

Revel AC, which owns the casino, will file for debt relief of more than $1 billion, Newsmax reported. Lenders, according to the terms of the prepackaged bankruptcy deal, will provide about $250 million, according to Newsmax.

The $2.6 billion Revel is Atlantic City’s first casino since 2003. Construction was stalled for a time after Morgan Stanley abandoned the project. But Mr. Christie stepped in, Newsmax reported, and helped the project to the finish line, with a push for $261 million in tax incentives from the state Economic Development Authority, Newsmax reported.

“My vision for Atlantic City is that Atlantic City needs to become Las Vegas East,” Mr. Christie said in a 2011 report from Bloomberg.

That vision has tanked somewhat. The casino has been trying to attract high-end customers ever since, Newsmax reported. Hurricane Sandy didn’t help; the casino was forced to close for five days because of the storm. It reports that revenue fell 8 percent to $3 billion last year – which was its sixth year of decline, Newsmax reports.

Some have been warning of the casino’s less-than-stellar revenue potential for years.

“We’ve been saying for a long time there are some problems with this company,” said Ben Begleiter, a research analyst with the labor union Unite Here, in the Newsmax report. “Our hope is that they use this as an opportunity to take a look from top to bottom and make changes that are good for the company, the workers and Atlantic City.”