Caesars Entertainment Corp. is considering a bid for Revel Casino Hotel, the Atlantic City, New Jersey, property that went through bankruptcy last year, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
A bid from Caesars isn’t certain, said the people, who asked not to be named because deliberations are private. Offers for the property, which opened in April 2012, are due in two weeks, and no negotiations are under way, they said.
Revel, built for $2.6 billion, would spruce up Caesars’ aging portfolio in Atlantic City, where it is the biggest player with four properties. The company could use its loyalty program to steer existing customers to the resort, said Robert Heller, president of Spectrum Gaming Capital, a New York-based investment bank.
“They could fill the place,” Heller said in an interview. Revel would be “a huge upgrade” for Caesars in the market, he said.
Caesars claims to have the largest customer database in the industry. Revel, owned by a group of hedge funds that assumed ownership after the bankruptcy last year, has struggled without a connection to a larger organization.
Hard Rock International, owned by Florida’s Seminole tribe, is among the companies interested in making an offer for Revel, the New York Post reported in December. A spokeswoman for Hard Rock declined to comment.
Lisa Johnson, a spokeswoman at Lisa Johnson Communications representing Revel, didn’t reply to an e-mail seeking comment.
(For more coverage on casino restructuring, see Las Vegas Hard Rock Casino Aims to Avoid Foreclosure and The Buyside: Pinnacle Deal Signifies Gaming Comeback.)
Caesars, based in Las Vegas, was purchased in a 2008 buyout led by Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital. The company has been selling properties and stock as well as refinancing its debt, which exceeds $24 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It sold $1.17 billion of stock in a publicly-traded subsidiary, Caesars Acquisition Co., in November.
A purchase of Revel by Caesars could reshape New Jersey’s gambling industry, if the company is forced to sell or close an existing property. Atlantic City has lost 43 percent of its revenue since 2006 as neighboring states expanded betting.
New Jersey regulations prohibit “undue economic concentration” by casino operators, according to the website of the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.
“The city is in the process of right-sizing and aligning supply with demand,” said Israel Posner, executive director of the Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Atlantic City. “The division is known to be very careful and very judicious, and has a solid reputation for protecting not just the industry but the players as well.”
The casinos owned by the company -- Caesars, Harrah’s, Ballys and Showboat -- accounted for 41 percent of the Atlantic City gambling market in December, according to Bloomberg Industries research. Revel had 6.2 percent. The state began allowing casinos to offer gambling online in November.
Caesars is building a convention center in Atlantic City and last month purchased the property and fixtures of the Atlantic Club, which ceased operations this month.
The company could cut costs by consolidating its New Jersey operations, according to Matthew Landry, a consultant with Strategic Market Advisors in Somersworth, New Hampshire.
Caesars Entertainment fell 1.4 percent to $21.15 yesterday in New York. The shares have almost tripled in the past year.