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NJ's newest casino announces layoffs

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- Atlantic City's newest casino, Revel Casino-Hotel, laid off 75 managerial and professional employees Monday even as it announced its first profitable week since opening more than a year ago.

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Hartmann said the layoffs came in many departments and included a senior Vice President. "It's a very difficult day here at the company," he said in an interview.

The 75 workers represented about 2 percent of Revel's employees.

Hartmann said the number of professionals had to be reduced because it was based on revenue projections that have not been realized.

He also said that the "frontline" customer service employment numbers have increased as more people have come to the facility recently.

The $2.4 billion oceanside facility opened in April 2012 as a destination resort and immediately found itself struggling along with the rest of the city's casinos. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year and emerged in May with less debt and a new management team.

Last month, the casino launched a new marketing theme catering more to gamblers and allowing smoking on the casino floor for the first time. It also pledged to refund slot-machine losses for July for those who sign up for the casino's players' club card.

Hartmann said the promotions have worked so far. He said the first week of July was the first time in the property's history that it had a profitable week. Hartmann would not give more detailed figures, though, and said that the profits were before the casino refunds losses in August for gambling in July.

Still, he said, having more guests is a good step, and so is cutting costs, though the layoffs are painful.

"It's up to us how sustainable it is," Hartmann said.