New Owners Pick Up Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort Casino
There were rumors floating around for the last few weeks that the recently opened Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City was up for sale.
Those rumors have now been confirmed. The Luxor Capital Group, an investment firm based out of New York, has been identified as the new majority stakeholder for Ocean Casino.
Bruce Deifik, the former principal owner of the Ocean Resort, retains a minority stake in the casino.
In a statement, Frank Leone, Ocean Resort Casino’s CEO said
We are incredibly proud of the progress our team members have made in establishing Ocean Resort Casino as one of the premier gaming and leisure destinations in the United States. We opened up the property even more effectively to the Boardwalk, and activated retail spaces and food and beverage options that have been extremely well-received by our guests.
Originally called the Revel Casino Hotel, it was bought in January 2018 by Deifik for $229 million. He received funding from both Luxor and J.P. Morgan Chase which came in the form of loans. J.P. Morgan Chase lent $110 million and Luxor lent $122.5 million. Another loan was taken out in June for $175 million from J.P. Morgan Chase.
Ocean Resort has had a rocky time since it opened in June 2018. Opening in the same month as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, they were presented as a symbol of the resurgence of Atlantic City. However, as one of nine gambling properties in the city, it is facing some stiff competition. In the end it looks like things did not go as per plan for Ocean Resort casino and its owners who decided to put it up for sale. As the new owners, Luxor has decided to commit $70 million more into the casino.
This will be used to improve facilities and build new additions like suites, rooms and a buffet. Luxor also plans to invest in better entertainment programming for the venue in 2019. These investments will be finalized as soon as the appropriate documentation and approvals are given by the local government. These funds are aimed at fueling the casino’s 2019 projects and also to give it a bit more financial flexibility.
After the investments are approved, the Luxor will still need to get a license from New Jersey’s gaming regulators. While the license is still pending, the majority shares will be held in a trust. This will be overseen by a trustee until Luxor gets interim authorization to access the trust. According to Ocean Resort, this will not disrupt any operations in the casino.
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