Former Revel Casino Misses Opening Date

Despite owner Glen Straub saying part of the former Revel Atlantic City would open June 15, the property still has not been inspected for a certificate of occupancy, and no application has been made. Straub also is questioning a DGE opinion that he must be granted a full casino license. Straub says he would simply be a landlord for a casino management company.

It seemed unlikely from the start, but the former Revel casino in Atlantic City was unable to open on June 15 as owner Glen Straub had promised.

Straub had said the opening would be a “soft” launch of about 900 of the property’s hotel rooms, and even admitted that much of the hotel areas are unfinished and that customers might want to think twice about staying there.

But by Thursday June 16, the local Press of Atlantic City reported that the still-closed property had not been issued a certificate of occupancy by city building inspectors. In fact, Polo North Country Club Inc., Straub’s company, hadn’t even applied for one.

The city can’t inspect the property without an application, officials told the paper. If one is made, the city will review alarm system reports, sprinkler certifications and perform a water test. The city would also have to inspect elevators and escalators at the property.

Other issues also need to be resolved, such as granting liquor licenses to businesses and restaurants on the property, which Straub said would also open in the coming days. By the weekend, none had been granted.

Further, the paper reported that work was still underway at the property to reopen its sewerage system, which was blocked from entering the Atlantic City Sewerage Company’s lines after a pay dispute.

Straub has also not named an operator for the site’s casino, which could not open without approval and licensing by state regulators. Straub has said he hopes to have a casino element running at the property by late August. But when the Division of Gaming Enforcement said Straub needed a full license for the casino to reopen, he objected.

“They have totally abused their discretion,” Straub told the AP. “We’re just a landlord—a vendor, really. Like someone who provides produce. I’m not going to run the casino; why do I need a casino license?”

DGE Director David Rebuck said there was some room for flexibility.

“We have made a determination that he does need to be licensed,” Rebuck said. “The thought is it might be a lesser level of licensing because of his business plan, but the division cannot make a final determination until his license application is complete.”

Straub purchased the property last year for $82 million at a bankruptcy auction, but then engaged in a long dispute over utilities at the site—including a long battle with the site’s former electric suppliers—but those issues have been settled.