The new owners of Ocean Casino Resort, formerly known as Revel Casino Hotel, are hoping that they have the right formula to finally turn the $2.4 billion behemoth into a money maker.
Luxor Capital Group purchased the casino, which sits on the north end of the Atlantic City Boardwalk, from AC Ocean Walk in January. The hedge fund was granted an interim license to run the property last week by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.
Ocean Casino Resort has been plagued with financial problems since even before it opened back in April of 2012. After a couple of bankruptcy filings, the facility was eventually closed in September of 2014.
A Toronto-based company then won the property at a bankruptcy court auction for $110 million. After backing out of the deal, however, Revel went to the second-highest bidder, Florida developer Glenn Straub, for the incredibly low price of just $82 million.
Straub made headlines during his stint as owner not only for his legal battles with the Atlantic City energy company that powered his casino, but also for his bizarre ideas, which included turning the property into a water park, a university for ‘white geniuses’, and even a spot to house Syrian refugees.
Straub had plans to re-open the casino in early 2017 under the name TEN Atlantic City, but it never happened. Instead, he sold Revel to AC Ocean Walk in January of 2018 for $200 million, who held on to it for a year before flipping it to Luxor for an unspecified price.
The casino has been mired in bad publicity since it opened, causing many local reporters to refer to it as “cursed.” NFL running back Ray Rice was arrested at Revel back in 2014 following a domestic violence incident in the elevator. An investigation ultimately led to him being kicked out of the league.
Later that year, the casino managed to lose a bag of cash after an armored truck driver accidentally left it on the roof of the vehicle.
Once Straub took over, he complained that seagulls were causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to the hotel’s windows. He later left New Jersey after selling to AC Ocean Walks’ Bruce Deifik, but not before telling the media that, “this state stinks, it just stinks.”
In order to ward off any bad karma, Deifik brought in Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg, who had a priest bless the property with holy water. It didn’t work. Deifik was killed in a car accident in April earlier this year.