Showboat Atlantic City to Close: Union

Showboat Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City plans to shut its doors and put more than 2,000 employees out of work, a union representing the casino workers says.

Bob McDevitt, president of Unite HERE Local 54, tells NBC10's Ted Greenberg that the Caesar Entertainment-owned gaming hall along the Atlantic City boardwalk plans to announce its closure on Friday. Along with the announcement, McDevitt says, will come WARN Act notices for employees.

WARN offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide 60 days notice of the planned closure of a business, according to the New Jersey State Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

It is possible the notices could be rescinded if circumstances change. Revel Casino Hotel, located just next door to Showboat, issued WARN notices to its own workers earlier this month just before it filed for bankruptcy for the second time in as many years. The notices told workers that Revel could close this summer if a buyer is not found in bankruptcy court.

But McDevitt said he is convinced Caesars intends to close the Showboat, the poorest-performing of its four Atlantic City casinos.
"Caesars closing a casino which remains profitable with positive [earnings] is a criminal act committed on the people of Atlantic City," he said.

For the first quarter of this year, the 27-year-old Showboat posted a gross operating profit of nearly $2 million, according to state gambling data. But that was down from a profit of nearly $8.5 million in the first quarter of 2013.
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.

The Showboat Hotel and Casino is located at 801 Boardwalk. If the casino does close, it will be the second to close this year. The Atlantic Club closed its doors for good in January.

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