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With Lady Luck no longer at its side, Revel casino details closure plan

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) - As hopes for a last-minute buyer dim, Atlantic City's Revel casino has laid out its closure plans, from disposing of opened bottles of alcohol to cashing unredeemed poker chips.

The plans detailed in court documents mark the end of a $2.4 billion hotel-casino that was hailed by state leaders including Governor Chris Christie as a model for reviving the New Jersey seaside city when it opened in 2012.

The plan will go into effect on Sunday, as the sleek casino's 14 restaurants and five pool areas close, allowing for the removal of perishable goods.

Unopened bottles of alcohol will be packaged, recorded for inventory and stored, until approval is given to sell them, according to a Monday filing with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Camden, New Jersey.

The 47-story hotel, restaurant and casino complex, with a striking design meant to evoke the rolling surf of the Atlantic Ocean, never caught on with gamblers. It opened just as neighboring Pennsylvania and Delaware embraced casinos, and filed for bankruptcy for the first time in 2013.

Revel filed its current bankruptcy in June, with plans for a auction with what it hoped would be several bidders to buy the property. But earlier this month, Revel said no parties had submitted a qualifying bid, which required a pledge to operate the casino as a going concern.

From the start, Revel was criticized for serious missteps such as a non-smoking policy and a layout that put the gaming floor at the periphery of the complex, which is located at northern end of the city's boardwalk.

"The debtors remain hopeful that a qualified bid will emerge from continued negotiations with potential bidders," Revel's lawyer Michael Viscount of Fox Rothschild in Atlantic City, wrote in the filing. "At this time, however, the debtors are unable to set a definitive timeframe for the sale process."

The filing noted that Wells Fargo, which provided Revel's bankruptcy loan to finance operations during its Chapter 11, expressed a willingness to extend its loan beyond the current maturity of Oct. 31.

At 6 a.m. on Sept. 2, the doors will close for good and Revel AC Inc will surrender its gaming license. Revel is one of four Atlantic City casinos that have closed or announced plans to close this year.

After the casino closes, it plans to honor outstanding slot vouchers and unredeemed poker chips until Sept. 15. Any holders who do not redeem their winnings by then will become general unsecured creditors, according to the filing.

Winnings that had been deposited with the casino for safekeeping that are not claimed by Sept. 15 will be turned over to the state of New Jersey as unclaimed property, according to the filing.

The case is In re: Revel AC Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey, No. 14-22654

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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