By Mike Schneider
The Showboat opened in 1987, got sold to Caesars 12 years later and underwent major renovations as the cash rolled in.
But times have changed in Atlantic City.
Revel’s back in bankruptcy and threatening to close this summer.
The Atlantic Club Casino did close six months ago.
And Showboat’s 2,000 workers got their bad news today.
“I can’t believe that they are closing a profitable casino. They are going to shut down a practical casino before they are selling it. What kind of business is that? I am very frustrated, it’s very bad news and it’s shocking news,” said Showboat employee Rina Rimska.
Caesars officials refused our request for an interview but issued a statement saying they have to close Showboat in order to protect their three other local casinos — Harrah’s, Bally’s and Caesars.
They cited Atlantic City’s long business decline and what they call a high property tax burden.
But the head of the union representing Showboat’s workers says closing a casino which remains profitable is a criminal act committed on the people of Atlantic City.
What about the officials who represent those people?
“So it has been acrimony for the last six years. There has been a mismanagement of the taxes. The casinos were paying 70 percent of the taxes on a $240 million budget. As a business man that pays taxes, I have watched my taxes double here in the last eight years,” said Atlantic City Board of Freeholders Chairman Frank Formica.