Revel is laying off about 80 employees this week at about the same time it prepares for a second bankruptcy hearing in Camden today.
The $2.4 billion megaresort, which marked its first anniversary earlier this month, will trim 2.5 percent of its approximately 3,300 employees, officials said. The layoffs, which began Tuesday, are expected to continue through today and affect positions across the company, including as high as vice president.
“Following a careful and thorough evaluation of our business, we have decided that we must adjust our staffing to align with business demands,” interim Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Hartmann said in a statement. “While this reduction, which affects 2.5 percent of our workforce, was a difficult decision, it will ultimately strengthen Revel’s position within the highly competitive Atlantic City marketplace.”
Revel heads to U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Camden today for a second hearing on restructuring plans that will convert about $1 billion in debt into an equity stake for creditors.
The layoffs follows work force reductions at nearly every Atlantic City casino in March, including Revel, where there were 82 fewer jobs during that month than the same period last year, according to the Division of Gaming Enforcement. In total, the casino industry lost 2,000 jobs in the past year.
Revel’s downsizing was expected as it is in the midst of restructuring, said Richard Perniciaro, director of Atlantic Cape Community College’s Center for Regional and Business Research.
“The creditors will insist they run a lean ship,” he said of Revel officials.
Although Revel informed the Division of Gaming Enforcement of its plans to reduce its work force, layoffs generally don’t require regulator approval. However, key positions in management, security and surveillance must remain filled, and changes to those positions must be reported to the division, officials said.
While Revel and other casinos reduce their staffs, those same employers will soon launch recruitment drives, particularly to fill seasonal jobs in anticipation of the lucrative summer tourist season, officials said.
Margaritaville, which is building a new beach bar and other Jimmy Buffett-themed amenities expected to open this summer at Resorts Casino Hotel, also is looking to hire 600 new workers. If Margaritaville gets enough business, those jobs could remain filled year-round, officials there have said.
But Perniciaro said casinos have signaled they expect to operate with as small a work base and as few expenses as possible. For instance, the industry issued 20 percent fewer promotional gambling credits — or free slot play — in March than during the same month last year. Those vouchers typically draw more visitors to the gambling floor but also require casinos to spend money.
“They’re very much on a skeleton crew,” Perniciaro said.
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