CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — A bankruptcy court judge says more time is needed to seek higher bids for Atlantic City's former Revel Casino Hotel.
Judge Gloria Burns delayed a decision Wednesday on the proposed $82 million sale of the shuttered gambling hall to Florida developer Glenn Straub. She did so after Los Angeles developer Izek Shomof expressed interest in buying Revel, but for $2 million less.
The $2.4 billion casino closed in September after just over two years of operation, during which it never turned a profit.
Leo Pustilnikov, Shomof's partner, says he's interested in making a formal bid soon. He said he and Shomof were only given permission to tour the casino on Wednesday, shortly before the hearing, and were only recently given financial documents enabling them to adequately consider a bid.
He said Shomof plans to submit a formal bid by the end of next week.
Burns said she's giving Revel AC and potential bidders time to work out the best possible deal for the casino.
"If there is something else out there, if you could come up with an offer that's more palatable to the objectors, maybe they won't object," the judge said.
Former business tenants at Revel want assurances their leases will be honored in a re-opened casino, and Revel's power plant wants to be sure its bills will be paid.
A new hearing is set for March 12.
Straub's attorney, Stuart Moskovitz, said the court should approve a sale soon and not convert the bankruptcy case into a Chapter 7 liquidation.
"You will devalue the estate so greatly by turning it into scrap," he said.
Two previous sales of Revel have fallen through.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC