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Showboat casino warns of potential closure, union official says

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The Showboat Atlantic City Hotel and Casino could soon close, putting more than 2,000 people out of work in what would be the resort's second gaming hall to shut its doors in just six months.

The head of the state's main casino workers union, Bob McDevitt, said Showboat employees on Friday would get federally mandated notices that a company must issue if it plans to close, according to several published reports. The 27-year-old casino is one of four Atlantic City properties owned by Caesars Entertainment Corp., whose has executives have said in recent months that they were considering such a move.

"We were notified by the company today and we began notifying the workers immediately," McDevitt, president of Unite HERE Local 5, told The Press of Atlantic City on Thursday.

Federal law requires a business to give employees 60 days notice that it could be closing.

Showboat reportedly has some 2,100 employees. Data from state regulators show it's been in the middle of the pack in the city's ailing casino industry, pulling in $193 million in total winnings last year. That total marked a 14 percent decline from 2012.

The 1,329-room property still has turned a profit -- $34 million in 2013 -- but that was down 28 percent from 2012, according to the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Word of the closing comes after the Atlantic Club ceased operations on Jan. 13, becoming the city's first gaming hall to close in seven years. The move left some 1,600 people out of work and 11 casinos in a still-overcrowded gaming market.

And the news comes amid the prospect of Revel Casino Hotel closing as soon as mid-August. The $2.4 billion megaresort, which has been losing money since opening two years ago, is now going through its second round of bankruptcy proceedings. Some 3,200 employees were notified last week that they'd be terminated if a buyer can't be found for the property.


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