ATLANTIC CITY - Revel is embracing all things gambling-related, with a shift in strategy to address its biggest trouble spot and a tweak to its name.
The casino at the Boardwalk's north end, which emerged May 21 from a bankruptcy resulting from anemic monthly gaming revenue, Thursday announced the new name, Revel Casino Hotel, and a new marketing theme, "Gamblers Wanted."
The campaign pulls away from Revel's original emphasis on its nongaming attractions, and involves an aggressive slot promotion in which the casino will refund all slot losses greater than $100 to gamblers using Revel Cards for the entire month of July.
Any gambler that losses $100 to $100,000 in July, will receive all of their slot losses back in Free Slot Play over a 20 week period. Customers will begin receiving their refund beginning August 5, according to Revel management. The free slot play is good for one week, Monday thru Sunday, and is automatically downloaded to the gambler's Revel Card.
Revel also will match free slot-play offers from its 11 Atlantic City competitors. Customers need only bring their original mail coupons to the Revel card desk and an identical amount of free slot play will be loaded to their Revel Cards.
Ads for the new promotions are scheduled to start Sunday. The slot promotions are part of a relaunch of the $2.4 billion property aimed at reintroducing Revel to the gambling customer, said interim CEO Jeffrey Hartmann.
New smoking lounges, a moderately priced three-meals-daily restaurant called Relish, and a new high-limit slots area debuted last month.
"Everybody deserves a second chance, and in order for Revel to earn one, we are offering a second chance to every slot customer," Hartmann said in a statement Thursday.
Said gaming analyst Christopher Jones, managing director at the Telsey Group in New York: "I think they need to focus on gamblers just to get more gamblers in the casino. They have done a good job with attracting the young weekend nongambling customer with their entertainment, nightclubs, and new beach bar. And now, they have to get the casino to work."
Since opening in April 2012, Revel has consistently finished near the bottom for monthly gambling revenue among Atlantic City's 12 casinos. Slots revenue, which accounts for about 75 percent of total gambling revenue, has been particularly weak.
In May, Revel finished 10th in total monthly casino revenue, but 11th in slots revenue. It generated $6.7 million from its 2,450 slot machines, ahead of only Trump Plaza, which generated $5.7 million from slots. Revel's May slots revenue showed a decrease of 15.6 percent from levels a year ago.
In its bankruptcy petition, Revel's owner acknowledged that initiatives such as permitting smoking at what had been the resort's first fully nonsmoking casino were needed. The other casinos offer smoking on 25 percent of their gaming floors.
George Ruiz, 35, of Woodbridge, recently at Revel's new smoking section mining a slot machine, said, "I guess they listened to their customers with the smoking. They need to keep listening to their customers."
Revel's push for gamblers coincides with a shift in the Atlantic City Alliance's "DO AC" campaign to feature gambling ads this year, the second of a five-year, $150 million effort.