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Revel casino now wants smokers, gamblers

Atlantic City's Revel casino unveiled a new promotional campaign and name change, moving the property's emphasis away from leisure and focusing on gambling.

revel casino Once billed as a luxury resort, Revel now wants to be a gambling mecca. (Credit: File photo).

As a part of its ongoing rebranding campaign as it emerges from financial difficulties, Atlantic City's Revel casino has unveiled a series of changes, described in a release as "a significant shift in the property's strategy."

No longer simply Revel, the property has been retitled Revel Hotel-Casino.

The inclusion of "casino" is a stark departure from Revel's past marketing strategy.

Revel, at the time of its April 2012 opening, sought to distinguish itself from competitors by touting the $2.4 billion property as a resort, with an emphasis on leisure rather than gaming.

Seeking to appeal to a high-class crowd who might not otherwise consider vacationing in Atlantic City, Revel was the shore town's only nonsmoking casino and heavily publicized its contemporary hotel rooms, celebrity chef-helmed restaurants and giant concert venue, rather than its gambling facilities.

A little more than a year later – and about three months after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection – Revel's new promotional campaign appears to be a tacit admission its previous strategies were taking the casino in the wrong direction.

Titled "Gamblers Wanted," the campaign takes the unprecedented step of, during the month of July, refunding all rated slot losses greater than $100 incurred by gamblers who use a Revel Card.

"Whether you played with us last week, have not visited in a year, or have never tried Revel, this exciting promotion is open to everyone and proves that at Revel, gamblers are wanted," Revel's interim CEO Jeff Hartmann said in a statement.

The casino on July 1 will also begin matching slot offers players receive from all other Atlantic City casinos, loading an identical amount of funds to customers' Revel Cards.

A release said the combination of incentives are "the most ambitions promotion in the history of Atlantic City" and called them "a new and aggressive strategy specifically targeting gamblers to convince them that they are not only welcome at Revel, but that their business is important and highly appreciated."

Revel last month lifted its smoking ban and, in a complete 180, unveiled the city's largest contiguous smoking section.

It is also shifting its haute cuisine sensibilities to embrace more affordable dining options.

It's all seemingly an attempt to appeal to appeal to the lower income, cigarette smoking, hardcore gambling demographic Revel initially sought to distance itself from.

"We recognize that gamblers have been playing in Atlantic City for decades and have built up comp and offer history with our competitors," said Randall Fine, managing director of The Fine Point Group, which has been hired to oversee Revel's new strategy.

"We want gamblers, and with these two promotions, along with our new affordable dining options and Atlantic City’s largest contiguous smoking section, we hope players come to one simple conclusion – why gamble anywhere else?"

 
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