Caesars Entertainment to close Showboat Hotel and Casino

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ATLANTIC CITY - An imploding Atlantic City casino industry received more bad news on Friday, June 27 when Caesars Entertainment and Unite HERE Local 54 union officials reported the Showboat Hotel and Casino will close as early as September.

The news comes just months after the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel closed up shop in January and only days after Revel – the city’s newest casino – filed for bankruptcy and announced it could shut its doors later this year.

Caesars Entertainment, which owns the Showboat and three other Atlantic City casinos, had announced May 8 that it was considering closing one of its facilities. However, the company failed to indicate which one was most likely to shut down.

According to multiple online posts, United Here Local 54 President Bob McDevitt informed media outlets that Showboat’s 2,100 employees will get WARN Act notices today.

Showboat shutdown: "A criminal act"

McDevitt told KYW-1060 that Caesar’s decision to close the Showboat amounts to a “criminal act against the people of Atlantic City.”

Showboat had posted a $2 million first-quarter operating profit.

The Showboat, which features a New Orleans French Quarter theme, opened in 1987.

The WARN ACT is a federal law requiring companies to provide workers with two month’s notice if plans are in place to close a company or make mass cutbacks in its labor force.

Showboat shutdown: Atlantic City's deminishing casino workforce

The Atlantic City casino industry had employed nearly 51,660 in the summer of 1997, according to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. Only 30,400 were employed in Atlantic City’s casinos as of May 2014.

But increased competition from neighboring states and the lingering effects of the world-wide economic collapse of 2008 continue to tarnish Atlantic City’s gambling pot of gold.

About 1,600 workers were laid off when the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel closed.

“First it was the Atlantic Club closing in January, then it was Revel filing for bankruptcy last week, and now it is Showboat giving employees notice of massive layoffs. The question everyone is asking now is, ‘Is my job next?’” said former federal prosecutor, Bill Hughes, candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s second congressional district.

Combined, the layoffs contained in a shutdown by Revel, Showboat and Atlantic Club could total 6,800 workers or about 21 percent of Atlantic City’s casino workforce.

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