A day after a union warned the Showboat Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City would be shutting down, the gambling hall's owner confirmed the closure.
Caesars Entertainment, Showboat's owner, announced Friday it will close the 27-year-old casino along the AC boardwalk on August 31. NBC10.com first reported the imminent plans to shutter the casino and hotel on Thursday night.
Showboat employs 2,100 workers. Staff are expected to be handed state-mandated WARN layoff notices on Friday during meetings with management. The company says workers will be offered assistance and the chance to apply for jobs at other properties.
The company cited declining revenue across Atlantic City as the reason, seeing the shutdown as a way to curb losses. Caesars currently owns four properties at the seaside resort -- the largest operator.
“While we regret the impact that this decision will have on our Showboat associates, we believe this is a necessary step to help stabilize our business in Atlantic City and support the viability of our remaining operations in the vicinity,” Gary Loveman, Caesars Entertainment CEO, said in a statement.
Bob McDevitt, president of Unite HERE Local 54, the union representing many of Showboat's workers, called the casino's closure a "criminal act."
"Caesars closing a casino which remains profitable with positive [earnings] is a criminal act committed on the people of Atlantic City," he said.
So far this year, the Showboat has taken in $66.2 million from gamblers, ranking it seventh out of Atlantic City's 11 casinos. That represents a decline of nearly 16 percent from the same period in 2013.
Caesars executives had previously said Atlantic City had too many casinos -- hinting at a possible closure. Earlier this year, the company shut down the faltering Atlantic Club casino, which it had just purchased.
Revel Casino Hotel, located next to Showboat, also announced earlier this month that it would be entering Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection -- it's second time in as many years. That casino's owners also warned it would close if a buyer does not come along.
Showboat will remain operational until the end of summer closure, the company says. Those with reservations after August 31 will be accommodated at other hotels.