New Bidders Have Emerged and Revel Casino Auction to Be Held Wednesday
An auction will be held this Wednesday, because multiple bidders have emerged in the Revel Casino bankruptcy case. It had been reported that the judge in the case would approve a sale of the Revel Casino to Florida businessman Glenn Straub for $90 million.
Stuart Moskovitz, the attorney for Glenn Straub, told the AP that Revel attorneys had informed him there would be an auction with multiple bidders. When multiple qualified bids are received in a bankruptcy case, the judge can call for an auction. In such an auction, two or more bidders submit their highest bid in a blind bidding process. Moskovitz could not say how many bids had been received or who the additional bidders might be.
Wednesday Auction in New York City
According to Moskovitz, the bid-off will take place at the offices of Revel Casino’s bankruptcy lawyers, which are in New York City. Once a winner is determined, the bidder’s offer is likely to be approved at a hearing scheduled for September 30. The AP later learned that a bankruptcy filing made on the 23rd by the United States Trustee was further proof that such an auction would be held Wednesday.
The bid by Glenn Straub is what is called a stalking horse bid. In those cases, if the deal falls through at the last minute–like what would happen if someone made a larger bid in Wednesday’s auction–then Glenn Straub would receive a $3 million breakup fee. This is to pay the stalking horse bidder for having their plans dashed at the last minute.
Glenn Straub and Polo North
Glenn Straub is a Florida developer who owns a dozen different properties. He is most associated with the Polo North Golf Club, which he won in a $27 million bankruptcy purchase in 1993. Straub has told New Jersey newspapers that he plans to improve Atlantic City in a number of ways, if he wins control of Revel Casino.
Straub has stated that the Revel Casino might house some gambling, but these would be smaller local operations. The main building would be used as a railway link, perhaps for rails running to New York City and Philadelphia.
Revel Casino University Plan
Last week, Glenn Straub revealed plans to build a 35-story building next to Revel Casino which would hold a university. This university has not been named, but it would be a meeting place for “geniuses” to discuss global issues, such as nuclear waste removal.
Straub has been adamant that Atlantic City needs to move away from a gaming-related economy, and has pointed at the type of projects he plans for its economic future. On the subject of Governor Chris Christie’s plan to legalize sports gambling through backdoor means, Straub has told the papers that sports betting would not save the Atlantic City economy.
Revel Business Could Start in October
If Glenn Straub does win the bid, people should know within a few weeks what type of business he plans to operate. He told reporters that he plans to have a business operating within weeks of finalizing the purchase of Revel Casino. He specifically mentioned that he does not want to see the casino empty through the winter.
To finalize a sale, the new owner would not have to obtain a casino gaming license. That would be required only if casino gaming took place on the premises. While this has not been ruled out by Straub, it is by no means certain.
About Revel Casino
Revel Casino closed on September 2. The property cost $2.4 billion to build, but the business venture never made money. Revel Casino was saddled by crushing debt from the day it opened in April 2012. Though it was the best-looking and most extravagent resort in Atlantic City, Revel never found a loyal customer base, which might have been turned off by its Vegas-style luxury.
In the end, Revel Casino might be remembered most for its role in the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal. In February 2014, Ray Rice and his fiance at the time (now wife), Janay Palmer, were arrested by the State Police, who handle security at Atlantic City casinos. The two had had an altercation on the elevator, and Palmer had been knocked unconscious. An infamous video of the altercation posted online by TMZ led to a firestorm of controversy over the NFL’s handling of the case.