New Owner of Ocean Resort Casino Still Shrouded in Mystery

It has been a little over a week since Colorado businessman Bruce Deifik announced that he was selling Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City just six months after the property opened doors to the public, but the identity of its owner is still shrouded in mystery

Ocean Resort Casino, formerly Revel, was launched in late June 2018 to great fanfare. However, rumors about the property’s sale due to poorer than expected performance started floating just a few months after its opening.

Mr. Deifik bought the Boardwalk resort from Florida businessman Glenn Straub in early 2018. The property’s new owner paid more than $200 million to acquire it and invested another $200 million to do what Mr. Straub failed to do – reimagine and reopen what had formerly operated as Revel for just two years after becoming one of the poster children of the crash and burn of Atlantic City’s casino market.

Despite his efforts to finally turn the property into a profitable business, Mr. Deifik, a newbie to Atlantic City’s casino scene, has not been able to deliver. Ocean Resort Casino underperformed for the greater portion of its first six months of operation, lagging behind its Boardwalk competitors.

Reports emerged earlier this month that the property would be handed to another owner and Mr. Deifik confirmed those a few days later. The businessman said that an outside company would take majority ownership of the hotel and casino resort and that he would retain a non-controlling interest.

The new owner of the ailing Boardwalk complex plans to invest $70 million into opening a buffet, adding more rooms and suites, and upgrades to the casino floor.

Tenants to Operate as Usual

The mystery surrounding the property’s new owner has not affected operations, The Press of Atlantic City reported last week. Tenants who lease space at the resort have told the local news outlet that they operate and will operate as usual until the identity of the new owner is revealed.

The Press of Atlantic City noted that as of Friday, there was no record of the transaction published with the Atlantic County Clerk’s Office. Officials commented by saying that it could take more than two weeks before information about the deal becomes public.

Ocean Resort Casino’s new owner will have to obtain a license to operate in Atlantic City from the Casino Control Commission. The deal will also need approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Any filings with the two regulators will bear the name of the entity that is to assume ownership of the hotel and casino resort.

Deals of this time usually take time, so the mystery around Ocean Resort Casino’s new owner should not be seen as something unusual. It is yet to be seen what direction the property will take with another entity at its helm and whether that new entity would be able to solve its problems.

Most recently, it emerged that there were two outstanding liens filed by contractors and subcontractors that had worked at the resort ahead of its opening, which could mean that among other things, the new owner will have to deal with some financial issues.

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