New Jersey Casino Control Commission Might Approve Glenn Straub’s License Next Week

New Jersey Casino Control Commission Might Approve Glenn Straub’s License Next Week
Glenn Straub argues he should not be required to obtain a full casino license, because he's only the landlord.

Glenn Straub hopes to receive good new from a meeting of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission on January 11. The meeting could determine the future of his bid to reopen Revel Casino under the name TEN Atlantic City.

NJ.com reports TEN Casino could open as early as February 20, 2017, if the meeting goes well. Glenn Straub’s optimistic launch dates have fallen through in the past, so it is uncertain what chance there is that the NJ Casino Control Commission would rule on Straub’s behalf.

Suing the Casino Control Commission

Currently, Glenn Straub is suing the Casino Control Commission, claiming their red tape has barred him from reopening for business sooner than he could have. Straub missed a June 15 launch date for reopening 500 hotel rooms. The move was supposed to begin the process of relaunching TEN Casino at a time later in 2016.

At the heart of the dispute is the Casino Control Commission’s insistence that Glenn Straub apply for a full-casino operators license. Straub and his lawyers argue that he should be allowed a lesser form of licensing, because he is not going to manage the casino himself. He has discussed hiring a casino management company. Morris Bailey hired Mohegan Sun to manage Resorts Casino Atlantic City.

David Stefankiewicz’s Statement

David Stefankiewicz, Glenn Straub’s outspoken lawyer, released a statement on the lawsuit, saying, “Surely, being a lessor of a property where, among other thing, a casino is being operated does not mean the lessor controls or is involved in the tenant’s business in any way.

Despite the litigation, Glenn Straub has kept open other possibilities. He also filed for licensing as a full casino operator, in case his lawsuit did not work out. Last month, Straub expressed skepticism that the Casino Control Commission would give any breaks, because of the contentious nature of their relationship to this point.

Glenn Straub Profile

Glenn Straub has been a colorful addition to the list of Atlantic City business leaders. He lost a bankruptcy auction to Brookfield Asset Management, only to win the bid by default when Brookfield pulled out of the project, citing energy costs. Before Brookfield ceded ownership, Straub claimed the bankruptcy auction was unfair and threatened a lawsuit.

Eventually, Straub won the bidding for the $2.4 billion Revel Building for a discounted price of $83 million. He used a combination of lawsuits and buyout offers to force ACR Energy Partners, the energy company which scared off Brookfield, to eliminate the danger of $3 million a month electricity bills. Straub also took previous tenents of the Revel Building to court, claiming their contracts were with another group.

History of Conflicts

So when Glenn Straub announced he was suing the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, it was no big surprise to those who have followed his Atlantic City career. The owner of Polo North, a Florida-based real estate development company, has been an enigmatic and interesting addition to the city’s business community.

During his time in Atlantic City, Glenn Straub has suggested he would use the Revel Building as a railway link, a university campus “for geniuses”, and a variety of other business. He has suggested that a smaller casino operation would be opened in the Revel Building, which is the largest and most impressive looking skyscraper in Atlantic City.

It is uncertain whether Glenn Straub’s confrontational style will be a problem with the Casino Control Commission. The gambling industry tends to attract flamboyant, controversial, and even litigious individuals. Gaming regulators who’ve dealt with the likes of Donald Trump, Steve Wynn, and Carl Icahn might not be phased with someone as contentious as Glenn Straub.

February 2017 Update

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission declined to approve Glenn Straub’s license, much to the Florida developer’s chagrin. Since the time this story was published, Glenn Straub said he would not pay the Q1 PILOT payment he owes Atlantic City. The PILOT payments are paid in lieu of property taxes on the Revel Building on a quarterly basis. In 2016, Glenn Straub paid $5.2 million in property taxes, so he presumably owes somewhere in the $1 million to $1.5 million in PILOT fees at the moment.

While Glenn Straub did not explicitely state that the unpaid PILOT bill had to do with his lack of licensing for a casino, his statement on the matter suggested that the two issues are related. Because Revel Building has been closed since September 2014, he claims the skyscraper should be taxed as an “abandoned building”, due to the fact it has been out of business “for 3 years”.

Presumably, Glenn Straub would make PILOT payments if his taxes were assessed in a different fashion. Since he would not consider the building abandoned if he were given a casino license and allowed to operate, his decision not to pay the PILOT bill is tied to the lack of licensing by the NJ Casino Control Commission.

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