LITTLE FERRY – Gov. Chris Christie affirmed his belief Wednesday that Revel Casino will save Atlantic City despite the casino’s investors announcing they plan to file for bankruptcy next month.
The governor said the announcement only confirms investors’ commitment to Atlantic City because of their decision to file Chapter 11 rather than close shop.
“The fact of the matter is what’s happening here is merely a shifting of Revel’s debt load to equity,” Christie said.
“They are investing in Atlantic City,” he added. “If they thought there was no future there they could close it down.”
The move by Revel’s investors will wipe out about two-thirds of its $1.5 billion in debt by converting more than $1 billion of it into equity to be paid to the casino's lenders. The pre-packaged bankruptcy will allow the casino to continue to operate under a restructured debt load.
The casino opened in April to great fanfare and was touted as the crown jewel that would spark a resurgence in Atlantic City. But the casino, an enigma to the city that has long been the stepchild to the glitzier Las Vegas and in more modern days has lost revenue to casinos in Connecticut and more recently Pennsylvania, never caught on among the city's faithful.
As for the bankruptcy, Christie says residents should not worry about Atlantic City’s future.
“Folks should understand that this is something that happens at times in business,” he said. “The other thing people should be assured of is not a nickel of taxpayer moneys has gone into Revel.”
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"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
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