CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — Another deal to sell Atlantic City's former Revel casino is dead.
A bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved Revel AC's request to terminate a deal to sell the shuttered gambling resort to Florida developer Glenn Straub's Polo North Country Club for $95.4 million.
The sale of the casino, which cost $2.4 billion to build, was supposed to have been completed by Feb. 9. But Straub said he was unable to meet the deadline due to lingering uncertainty over whether he would be forced to accept business tenants who operated at Revel when he re-opens it. Straub's $10 million deposit was ordered to be held in escrow.
"The history of this case is long and tortured," Judge Gloria Burns said.
She said the terms of the contract did not allow Straub to wait until the former Revel tenants' legal appeals were resolved before closing on the sale.
Revel's demise is just the latest setback for Atlantic City's gambling market, which has shrunk by nearly half over the last eight years. Its casino revenue has fallen from $5.2 billion in 2006 to $2.74 billion last year, a year that saw four of its 12 casinos — including Revel — go out of business and lay off 8,000 workers.
The casino never turned a profit and closed on Sept. 2 after little more than two years of operation.
Revel attorney John Cunningham told the judge the casino will seek to pocket the $10 million deposit.
"We are going to seek to be allowed to spend that money," he told the judge.
Stuart Moskovitz, Straub's attorney, said his client would not be satisfied with the ruling.
"No game ends in the first quarter," Moskovitz told The Associated Press. "Obviously we will be appealing. There's a lot still going on, including settlement talks with Revel."
Straub has said he did not want to assume the leases of former business tenants at the casino, including a nightclub and restaurants, and asked the court to extend the sale deadline through Feb. 28. The judge refused.
She said Thursday it is obvious the appeals process will take months to be resolved.
The ruling marked the second time since November that a deal to sell Revel collapsed.
Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management scrapped its planned $110 million purchase due to an ongoing dispute over debt from the casino's power plant, which is the building's only source of utility service.
Straub had proposed reopening Revel under a different name as a smaller casino, a water park, hotel and condominiums. The company has said it will seek yet another potential purchaser.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC