Revel Casino Sold to Integrated Properties of Colorado

Revel Casino Sold to Integrated Properties

Revel Building has been inactive since September 2014.

The Atlantic County Clerk’s Office received documents which show that Integrated Properties Inc. bought the former Revel Casino from Florida real estate developer Glenn Straub. Since 2015, Glenn Straub’s Polo North has owned the Revel Building.

In 2016, Straub renamed the building TEN Casino, though it never opened, so many still call the building “Revel”. If Glenn Straub has sold the Revel Casino to another group, it would mark the end of one of the most colorful and sometimes baffling stints in the history of Atlantic City’s casino industry.

Integrated Properties was founded by Mile High Dice MRG, which is owned by Bruce Deifik. Since 1990, Mr. Deifik has led the asset management firm, which owns 103 commercial real estate properties in 5 states. The assets Integrated Properties own include hotels and apartment complexes, as well as media outlets and newspapers.

Earlier this year, New York City investment firm Keating & Associates LLC offered $225 million to buy the Revel Casino. Glenn Straub seemed disinterested in selling at the time, though a certain level of discussions occurred, before the sale fell through.

Integrated Properties Buys Revel Casino

Those discussions might have stoked interest from other sides, who though Glenn Straub wanted to sale the Revel Building, which has been a disappointment for him at the time. Besides other legal issues, Glenn Straub has had difficulty obtaining the casino and liquor licenses needed to run an Atlantic City casino.

The $2.4 billion Revel Building opened in April 2012 as the most expensive skyscraper ever built in Atlantic City. Morgan Stanley, sold its share of the development for $900 million before the building had its grand opening.

Revel Casino’s History

From the time the Revel Casino opened, it was a bad luck business venture. Its developers envisioned a Las Vegas-style integrated casino-resort, but the ambitious project opened in the direct afttermath of the Global Recession and Hurricane Sandy. Revel Casino had debt issues from the beginning, including a $3 million-a-month electricity bill from ACR Energy Partners.

Revel Entertainment declared bankruptcy twice in its 29 months of operation. After the second bankruptcy in early-September 2014, the casino closed its doors. The most notable event that happened at Revel Casino was the February 2014 domestic dispute between Ray Rice and his fiance, which eventually led to Ray Rice’s suspension from the Baltimore Ravens. Rice never played again in the NFL.

A bankrupty auction took place in November 2014, with Brookfield Asset Management winning the bid for $110 million. Polo North lost with a $93 million bid, with Polo North owner Glenn Straub complaining that the bankruptcy judges had favored Brookfield througout the process.

Glenn Straub Buys Revel Building

Straub did not complain for long. When Brookfield realized ACR Energy would not lower its energy costs, the Toronto-based holding company pulled out of the deal and surrendered its 10% deposit. Polo North was declared the winner of the auction.

It took several months before Glenn Straub was confirmed by the bankruptcy judge as the new owner of Revel Building. In the spring of 2015, Straub paid $82 million for the Revel Building — about 5% of the original cost to build the resort. He fought off a last-minute attempt by a Los Angeles real estate developer to steal the bid, but emerged as the winner.

Straub was coy about his plans for the casino. At one point, he suggested he would turn it into a railway junction. Later, Straub said he would build a “school for geniuses”. He said he had no plans to re-open a casino, but later said that was his main purpose in buying Revel Casino.

Revel Building Lawsuits

Straub faced several obstacles to reopening the casino. He took the Revel Building’s former tenants to court, because he tried to tear up their old leases. Straub also began a months-long legal battle with ACR Energy Partners, because he disagreed with the $3 million-a-month cost for the energy supply.

ACR’s shareholders complained to the judge that Glenn Straub was trying to ruin the company by refusing to pay a bill, but the judge refused to force Straub to pay until the court case was settled. With that leverage in place, the Florida real estate developer played a waiting game.

Meanwhile, the biggest building in Atlantic City went dark for several months. When the windows in the Revel Casino began to show signs of wear and tear, Glenn Straub told the newspapers it was the handiwork of seagulls. He joked about the damage, seemingly unconcerned about ever reopening. In November 2015, Glenn Straub eventually agreed to buy out ACR Energy for $30 million — 10 months of electricity payments for the Revel Casino. His patience had worked.

TEN Casino’s Ill-Fated Grand Opening

With that obstacle out of the way, Glenn Straub appeared ready for business. He set June 15, 2016 as the date he would reopen 500 rooms in the Revel Building’s hotel area. Straub held a contest in which he asked for naming ideas for the building. Eventually, Straub settled on TEN Casino, because “ten” is a sign of excellence and beauty.

Unfortunately, the June 2016 grand opening never happened. TEN Hotel postponed its opening, because Glenn Straub had not secured a liquor license yet. Straub complained that New Jersey regulators were taking so long to vet his license. Regulatory issues would continue to plague Polo North for months to come.

Glenn Straub v. New Jersey Officials

By January 2017, Glenn Straub was complaining to the newspapers about the Division of Gaming Enforcement’s long approval process. A second deadline passed for a TEN Hotel grand opening on June 15, 2017. Straub sued the DGE, because he believed he should not have to acquire the same level of licensing as Caesars Entertainment or MGM Resorts — other casino ownership groups in Atlantic City — because he would hire a casino management company and was effectively the landlord. The DGE did not alter its position.

As 2017 wore on, Polo North stopped making its PILOT payments to the State of New Jersey. The “Payment in Lieu of Taxes” (PILOT) is a stipulated amount of cash that Atlantic City casinos pay to the state each year, to avoid the drawn-out process of tax reassessment battles in court. The previous year, Revel Casino paid about $1.5 million every three months — Revel’s quarterly share of the $120 million PILOT payments a year.

Glenn Straub claimed the Revel Casino should be assessed taxes like an abandoned building, because it had been closed for nearly three years. That argument did not impress New Jersey officials, who insisted Revel Casino needed to fulfill its obligations. Glenn Straub said he would not have bought the building in the first place, had he known the regulators would be so difficult with a businessman who wanted to create jobs in Atlantic City. He implied that New Jersey’s regulators stifled the business community.

Glenn Straub Sales to Integrated Properties

Under the circumstances, it is no surprise that Glenn Straub would consider selling the Revel Building. The standoff seemed to have no end in sight. If the deal is anything like the one made by Keating & Associates earlier this year, Straub would have spent $112 million plus taxes, while selling for $225 million. Glenn Struab stands to make a $100 million return for a 3 year commitment to a $125 million investment, which is not a bad ROI.

None of the parties rumored to be involved in the current deal have confirmed the reports, but a filing has occurred. As the weeks go by, more information will be learned about Bruce Deifik and Integrated Properties out of Colorado. As it does, this site will report information on the new owners of Revel Building — and what the new gambling operation might be called.