ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- While some questioned the wisdom of opening a $2.4 billion casino resort in a cutthroat market at the end of a nationwide financial meltdown, some investors still believe in Revel.
Atlantic City's newest casino, one that has struggled to find a place in the seaside gambling market, has obtained $150 million in new financing to help keep it going.
It also said it will pay more attention to some less ritzy sections of the market that it had neglected in its drive to attract affluent leisure customers and group meetings. Revel said it will beef up its slots operation and open a more affordable restaurant to complement others run by celebrity chefs.
The casino resort said it amended its agreement with JP Morgan Chase Bank to provide for additional money to help pay down existing debt and to fund operations. Most of it consists of a new $125 million loan.
It's the second round of new financing Revel has had to obtain since the summer.
"We appreciate the continued support and confidence of our investors, who have demonstrated a strong belief in our business model," said Kevin DeSanctis, chairman and CEO of Revel Entertainment. "This additional funding will enable us to execute our strategic build-out of exciting new gaming, food and beverage, and entertainment amenities. These new offerings will allow us to enhance and improve both the gaming and leisure experience for our customers."
Since opening in April, Revel has ranked near the bottom of Atlantic City's casinos in terms of the amount of money won from gamblers. But its executives say Revel's business model relies more on room and restaurant revenues than the city's other 11 casinos.
DeSanctis said the company will add a new high-limit slots area and expand its players' club.
All but acknowledging that some of its customers want a more affordable place to eat, Revel plans to add "a three-meal restaurant accessible to a broader audience" and to expand its quick-serve food options.
Since opening in April, Revel has won just over $112 million from gamblers. That places it next to last among the other casinos, which have all been open the entire year. But its backers had clearly seen Revel as a competitor to the city's top casino, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, which had won more than a half-billion dollars from gamblers as of the end of November.
Now, Revel heads into the dead winter months trying to make up lost ground.
"In terms of performance, the gaming segment is clearly the area where we need to see improvement and is our primary focus," DeSanctis said. "We believe these new and expanded gaming offerings, combined with newly appointed leadership, specifically in our slot marketing area, will generate significant improvement in our overall gaming volumes, particularly as we enter into the spring and summer seasons."
Wayne Parry can be reached at https://twitter.com/WayneParryAC