Whelan opposes Caesars buying Revel

A New Jersey lawmaker says Caesars Entertainment should not be allowed to buy the Revel Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City.

Revel went through bankruptcy proceedings last year and the hedge funds that own it are trying to sell it.

Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic County) says a successful bid would give Caesars about a 50 percent share of New Jersey’s casino market and violate regulations that prohibit one company from having too big a share of the market.

“From the employees’ perspective, the customers’ perspective, the suppliers and so on, you have a monopoly,” said Whelan. “If your job options are limited because one company controls the marketplace in terms in terms of jobs, where do you go if you have a run in with the boss?”

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Whelan says other potential buyers who don’t already have a casino in Atlantic City could bring a different-style product and help attract more business.

“Caesars and [the Tropicana] just bought Atlantic Club for the sole purpose of shutting it down,” he said. “There were other buyers who would have kept that open. There are other buyers who are interested in Revel who do not have an interest in Atlantic City at the current time. Let’s open the door for them and get some new business, new corporations, in Atlantic City.”

The Division of Gaming Enforcement says if Caesars agrees to acquire Revel, then the licensing process will determine if the company would have an “undue economic concentration”.

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