Atlantic City's Revel casino heads to sale as late bids emerge

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 23, 2014 7:11 PM

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) - At least two last-minute bids were received on Tuesday for Atlantic City's Revel casino, which closed this month, setting up an auction to challenge an agreed sale to a Florida developer.

Bidding on the two-year-old casino, which cost $2.4 billion to build, will start at $94 million.

Revel's owner obtained an initial, or stalking horse, cash bid of $90 million from Glenn Straub, a Florida developer. A stalking horse bid creates a floor for bids to be submitted at a court-supervised auction.

It is still possible that the bids received on Tuesday may not qualify if they fail to meet certain requirements, such as financing arrangements.

The bids came from a party involved with casino gaming outside New Jersey and a real estate developer, according to a person familiar with the bidding process.

John Cunningham, Revel's attorney from the White & Case law firm, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Straub on Monday said in an interview that he wants to convert the Revel into a university where the best and brightest young minds from across the world could work on the big issues of the day.

On Tuesday, as the 4 p.m. bid deadline passed, Straub told the Press of Atlantic City he would not be bothered if he lost the auction, calling the Revel a "monstrosity."

When it opened in 2012, the Revel casino was seen as a groundbreaking project that would bring Las Vegas glitz to the struggling New Jersey beach resort. The massive hotel, at 57 stories the tallest casino building in the United States, played down gambling and emphasized entertainment, fine dining and sleek design.

However, the hotel opened as neighboring states began to license more gaming options, undermining New Jersey's market.

Four Atlantic City casinos have closed this year, leaving the city with eight. The Trump Taj Mahal notified its 3,100 workers last week that they may lose their jobs and the casino may close in November.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)