Caesars open to selling Showboat

By Brad Allen
Las Vegas-based casino operator Caesars has said it is willing to sell the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City.

The Mardi Gras themed Showboat made a profit of almost $2m in the first quarter of the year, but was due to be shut on 31 August to protect Caesars' four remaining properties in Atlantic City.

"We're willing to sell if we receive a reasonable offer from a responsible buyer," said spokesman Gary Thompson. "We've received some expressions of interest from a number of groups and are reviewing them."

Although many analysts say a surplus of casinos is to blame for poor gaming revenues, Thompson said new competition wasn't a major concern if a rival was interested in purchasing the Showboat.

"I think the largest role would be the amount of money we could receive from the property.”

The news of the sale is welcomed by casino-workers union president Bob McDevitt who called the planned closure a "criminal act".

"They should have been willing to do that from the start," said McDevitt. "They are moving in the right direction.

"We have been saying all along, that if they are willing to sell at market value, and if there are buyers interested, then they should sell it and keep the property running as a profitable casino, which it is."

Any potential buyer would need a New Jersey casino licence, unless it intended to run the Showboat as a hotel only.

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