The Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has reportedly declared that he hopes billionaire real estate mogul Glenn Straub will soon sell the former Revel Casino Hotel Atlantic City because he “hasn’t been able to deliver” on re-opening the Atlantic City property.
According to a report from The Press Of Atlantic City newspaper, Christie made the statement on Thursday as part of his monthly Ask The Governor radio program while additionally criticizing Straub for not wanting to go through the casino license application process.
The 1,399-room Revel Casino Hotel Atlantic City cost $2.4 billion to build in 2012 but closed in September of 2014 after filing for a second round of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections. Straub subsequently spent $82 million to purchase the property via his Polo North Country Club real estate vehicle before September saw him re-brand the enterprise with its 150,000 sq ft casino as TEN Atlantic City.
After missing two previous self-imposed deadlines, Straub had reportedly hoped to re-open the property with its gambling facilities in June but this plan hit a stumbling block three months ago after the New Jersey Casino Control Commission ruled that the entrepreneur must first apply for a gambling license. The Florida-based businessman immediately filed a lawsuit in hopes of getting this decision appealed and argues that he should not have to apply for a license because the casino is to be leased to a third party.
“Uh-uh; not the way it works,” Christie stated. “You want to profit from a casino in Atlantic City? We have to see your financials and you have to be licensed. So I don’t think it’s going to open as a casino unless this guy goes through the appropriate licensure process.”
Christie reportedly explained that Straub could still re-open the giant Boardwalk property without a casino but that he has his doubts as to whether this scenario will ever come to pass.
“I’m hoping, quite frankly, that he sells it because in the end he just hasn’t been able to deliver,” Christie stated.
In response, Straub has reportedly called Christie a lame-duck governor that is discouraging businesses from investing in New Jersey. The Press Of Atlantic City reported that the businessman has moreover claimed that the New Jersey Casino Control Commission had not followed state statutes in denying his petition to waive the casino license requirement for TEN Atlantic City.
“Why do you think Atlantic City is taking as long as it’s taking,” Straub, referring to the resort city’s economic recovery, told the newspaper.