Ocean Resort Casino’s fate will be known eight days before it opens.
At 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, casino representatives will go before New Jersey’s Casino Control Commission (CCC) for a special hearing. If all goes according to plan, Ocean Resort will be awarded the casino license it needs in order to run its gaming operation when the doors open on June 28.
While the hearing may seem like a formality for what has, up to this point, seemed like a certainty, CCC spokesperson Daniel Henigan told NJ.com it’s anything but a foregone conclusion.
“This isn’t just a technicality. Being awarded a casino license is a very major step,” Henigan said. “We will hear testimony and they will discuss their plans to attempt to meet the burden of operating a casino, after which the commission will deliberate and make a decision.”
The steps ORC took to get to this point
Ocean Resort Casino’s ownership group, AC OCEAN WALK, bought the former Revel property earlier this year. While the group didn’t set an opening date when they announced the property purchase, summer was a target season.
After the fact, it’s now known that the group was basically working with a six-month timeline. The quick turnaround was possible because Revel sat dormant for years. Assuming there wasn’t any major damage inside the casino, it was primed for opening for years.
On the regulatory side of things, ORC made sure that the property had all the necessary licenses and that it was up to code, something that seemed to be an issue for former owner Polo North. The incorrigible owner, Glenn Straub, seemed to be mired in a morass of missed permitting deadlines and regulatory requests.
Along the way, they had to request a hearing with the CCC through which the commission would listen to Ocean Resort’s plans to run a casino.
That meeting will provide the CCC the final bits of information they need to make an informed decision as to whether or not the new Atlantic City casino will get a casino license.
In the off chance the CCC decides not to grant Ocean Resort a license, the casino has up to 20 days to file an appeal, per the CCC’s regulations.
Ocean Resort sneak peek reveals casino epicenter
Earlier this month, Ocean Resort Casino gave a select group of reporters access to their property. Photos from that media day show a modern, up-to-date property with all the trappings of a flagship resort casino.
The property will feature nearly 1,400 rooms, 48 stories, 18 dining options, and a litany of entertainment, the most interesting of which may be the Royal Jelly Burlesque Night Club, a burlesque club leftover from the Revel days.
One of the marquee locations inside the property will be the Ocean Resort sportsbook, resort adviser Seth Schorr told NJ.com.
“The sports book will be the heart of our casino. This will create amazing energy,” Schorr said. “There’s nothing better than seeing a lively group cheering on their favorite team. We didn’t want to put our sports book in the corner, in a hard to reach location. By design, it is at the center.”
Let’s hope the special hearing on Wednesday means the casino and its sportsbook will open as planned.