On Monday, New Jersey casino regulators told a bankruptcy court it can't transfer the license of Atlantic City's former Revel casino to new owner Glenn Straub. Here are some of the other problems the Florida developer is wrestling with in his quest to re-open the star-crossed casino resort:
THE POWER STRUGGLE
Right now, Revel is a cold, dark building, without electricity, heat or water. That's because utility company ACR Energy Partners cut off service to the building on April 9 — two days after Straub bought it — in the absence of a contract for future service there. Both sides have agreed to a temporary two-week deal to restore power to the building, which is needed because of fines.
The City of Atlantic City is fining Straub $5,000 a day for each day that fire detection and suppression systems are inoperative, which began the day ACR cut off power. The Fire department says that without water in the pipes and electricity to carry firefighters to the upper floors, battling a fire in the 47-story building could be next to impossible. The 710-foot Revel is the second-tallest building in new Jersey, after the Goldman Sachs building in Jersey City. Resolution of the power situation also directly impacts former Showboat casino.
Straub has a deal to buy the former Showboat casino and lease it to Stockton University as a satellite campus. But that deal is mired in legal limbo, and the university president has already announced his resignation. Straub is considering using the Showboat as an alternate source of electricity for Revel if he cannot agree to terms with ACR.
Although a bankruptcy judge let Straub take over Revel, she punted on the issue of whether the building's former business tenants have the right to continue to operate there when Straub re-opens Revel, or whether he can reject their leases. Expect those disputes to wind up in state court soon unless an unexpected resolution is reached.
Atlantic City officials say they have yet to receive any applications from Straub to do construction work at Revel.