$90 Million Bid for Revel Casino Awaits Sept. 23 Deadline

$90 Million Bid for Revel Casino Awaits Sept. 23 DeadlineA potential buyer has emerged for the Revel Casino with a bid of $90 million in cash agreed to by the property’s current owners.

A purchase agreement has been effectuated that allows for other higher bids to be offered by Sept. 23. If none are received in advance of a Sept. 24 hearing, the bid of Polo North Country Club Inc. will be accepted.

Polo is headed by president Glenn Straub, a real estate developer based in Florida. Straub has not yet revealed his plans for the property in detail, but did tell the Wall Street Journal that his offer is an opportunity to turn things around.

That’s what they need right now—a new direction, Straub added, leading to speculation that operating as a casino may not be in the works.

Two other lesser bids have also been received, according to the WSJ report. One from Alex Meruelo of the Meruelo Group in California and the other from Carl Icahn, who is also eyeing takeovers of both the Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza.

The Revel closed just nine days ago after operating in the black since opening its doors to gamblers in 2012. A massive investment of $2.4 billion turned out to be a bad idea as New Jersey as well as the rest of the country struggled through bleak economic times that began around 2008.

The $90 million bid is reportedly the lowest amount that the current owners will accept. Should Meruelo or Icahn (or another bidder) wish to make a higher offer, they have a little less than two weeks in which to do so.

Straub has placed $10 million into escrow pursuant to terms of the purchase agreement. The Revel will continue with its bankruptcy auction and process of selling that is set to conclude with an auction hearing on Sept. 24.

New Jersey officials led by Gov. Chris Christie are scrambling to work out a new strategy that will rejuvenate the Atlantic City gaming industry. A summit was held on Monday to discuss ways in which to effectuate such a plan that was prompted by the closings this year of the Atlantic Club, Revel and Showboat casinos. Trump Plaza is set to close in less than a week and the Trump Taj Mahal may do so in November.

Christie did approve the legalization of sports betting this week, which follows the launch of online poker and gambling last November. Locating casinos elsewhere in the state outside of Atlantic City appears to be the next option under serious consideration by the governor and other state officials.

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Jacqueline Packett