ATLANTIC CITY — It could be a while before casino gaming returns to the former Revel, now known as TEN.
The state Casino Control Commission ruled Tuesday that Glenn Straub, the owner of the property, must have a gaming license despite leasing casino operations to a third party. Straub has vowed to challenge the ruling in court, a move that could further delay the return of gaming to the more than 6 million-square-foot property.
Straub’s contentious relationship with the board was on display again Tuesday.
During the hearing, commission Chairman Matthew Levinson accused Straub of misleading the public as to when the property was going to reopen. Last year, Straub claimed the property would reopen June 15, despite lacking several key permits. Two weeks ago, Straub claimed TEN would open Presidents Day weekend.
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“Unfortunately, Mr. Straub, on multiple occasions, has misled people as he suggested he was ready to put thousands of people to work and open the facility, but that government regulations were blocking the process and creating red tape,” Levinson said. “In my opinion, this petition is another delaying tactic by Mr. Straub.”
Levinson said the board will look to set a date for a hearing on Straub’s gaming license, even though Straub said he doesn’t want his companies to go through the casino-licensing process.
Robert Landino, CEO of TEN, declined to comment on the issue.
For two years, Straub has claimed state regulatory agencies, including the Casino Control Commission and the Division of Gaming Enforcement, were holding up the reopening of the property.
“We are going to take it to the court system,” Straub said following the hearing. “Our attorney spelled out what the law was. The law is not for these people. These people rubber-stamp what some other agency did. State agencies take care of state agencies.”
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State gaming laws require Straub to have a license to operate a casino on the property. Straub claimed that, since he is planning to lease the casino area to a third-party vendor, he should not be required to apply for the license.
“Mr. Straub does not need any license from this commission to operate a hotel in Atlantic City,” Levinson said. “But if Mr. Straub wants a hotel with a casino with these lease terms, he clearly needs a license.”
During a recess in the meeting, Straub said the spas and a portion of the hotel will open Presidents Day weekend. Despite the lease, Straub still controls 1,399 hotel rooms in the resort.
“We will see how much money we spend here,” Straub said, referring to what is going to open over Presidents Day weekend. “We know which employees to hire and for what departments.”
Earlier this month, Straub appeared for a board hearing on whether he needs a casino license despite leasing gaming operations at the site to a third party. A last-minute change to the five-year lease agreement between Straub and the lessee prompted the hearing’s postponement.
In August 2015, Straub bought the once $2.4 billion Revel for just $82 million in bankruptcy court. In October, the property received its temporary certificate of occupancy from the city.
The property contains 13 restaurants, a 32,000-square-foot spa, 55,000 square feet of retail space and a parking garage with more than 7,000 spaces.
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