Atlantic City shutters third casino this year as Revel closes its doors

     Revel in Atlantic City, N.J. (Mel Evans/AP Photo, file)

    Revel in Atlantic City, N.J. (Mel Evans/AP Photo, file)

    The economic meltdown continues for Atlantic City. Revel Casino is shutting down its hotel and gambling operations, leaving more than 3,000 people jobless.

    The last hotel guests checked out Monday. Gambling was set to end before dawn on Tuesday.

    Revel’s demise follows the closing of the Showboat casino Sunday. Trump Plaza will shut down in two weeks, making it the fourth casino to close in 2014.

    The total job loss for the resort city from those closings amounts to a staggering 8,000 for the year.

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    Of all the casinos shutting down in Atlantic City, Revel is the newest and most glamorous, and the most financially troubled. It ran out of money halfway through construction and had to ditch plans to build a second hotel tower. It was rescued with a financing package that included state tax breaks. Revel filed for bankruptcy twice and never turned a profit, so it never earned the tax advantages of the deal.

    John Phelan lives in Texas, but he visited Atlantic City over the weekend. He gambled at Revel as the casino prepared to shut down. “It’s just kind of a spectacle,” Phelan says. “It’s like rubbernecking on the highway when you see a car crash. Only it’s a $2.4 billion car crash.”

    “I think to myself, what made anyone think that this was a good move, opening another casino on the boardwalk when things were already in bad shape?” Phelan said. “Maybe it’ll serve as a cautionary tale to myself, you know, be careful where you put your money.”

    Gaming revenue in Atlantic City has fallen every year since 2006. Casinos in the city face growing competition from gambling halls in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland.

    Emma Jacobs contributed to this report.

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