A sale of Revel Atlantic City has been approved again. The question is whether it will stick this time.
A bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of the $2.4 billion casino property to Florida developer Glenn Straub for just $82 million. Straub also announced that he has purchased the Showboat from Stockton University for $26 million. Stockton had bought the building from Caesars Entertainment for $18 million to use as a satellite campus for the college.
But two weeks ago, Trump Taj Mahal owner Carl Icahn invoked a clause in a 1988 agreement by the three uptown casinos at that time, Resorts, Trump Taj and Showboat, that all were to be operated as first-class casinos, fearing that the Taj would become a magnet for underage gamblers. It’s unclear how Straub’s purchase of Showboat clears up that issue.
Trump Entertainment CEO Robert Griffin was adamant.
“We will not allow it,” Griffin said.
Just two days after Straub closed on the bankrupt casino, the site’s sole energy provider—ACR Energy Partners—began shutting down power and water to the building.
The move highlighted the long-running battle between ACR, which controls a power plant built solely for Revel, and potential buyers of the casino. The high cost of power for the building and the high construction debt for the plant have been a stumbling block in several previous potential sales of Revel and is seen as a major reason the casino went bankrupt and closed in the first place.
To make things worse, the city of Atlantic City imposed a fine of $5,000 a day on Straub for failing to maintain power and fire suppression systems. Fire officials in Atlantic City said it would be impossible to fight a fire in the 47-story tower due to the lack of power and water.