Ocean Resort Casino has officially been sold. Again.
Just six months into its latest life at the far end of the Atlantic City Boardwalk, the former Revel Casino will have a new majority ownership stake with an unnamed entity.
Bruce Deifik, the current owner, would not reveal the new owner’s identity, but told the Associated Press that if approved, “this next round of investment into Ocean will put this property on an exciting path to growth.”
The casino plans to remain open.
Ocean Resort under new ownership
Rumors started to circulate about a possible sale of the casino on Jan. 9. As it is, the new owner brings with it a $70 million investment to Ocean Resort.
While the new owner would need to be licensed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Deifik and his family expect to retain only a small, non-controlling ownership interest, according to the AP.
Deifik said it had been an honor to be a part of the casino’s transformation in AC:
“My family and I want to thank the 3,000-plus employees at Ocean for their tireless work to bring our property to life and put it on track to become the best gaming property in New Jersey.”
While nothing is known yet about the new owner, Ocean Resort plans to use the investment funds to open a buffet on site and add rooms. Additionally, the casino will boost its current entertainment and player events.
First six months were hit and miss
Since opening in June alongside another reborn property, Hard Rock Atlantic City, Ocean Resort has been at the bottom of the pack in terms of revenue.
Before opening, Deifik remodeled the casino floor, improved customer service, and built a state-of-the-art Ocean Resort sportsbook.
“I think that sends a pretty clear message that people are hearing very interesting things about Ocean. There’s no doubt that we have a great, world-class sportsbook, and it’s in a very good location.”
Despite all of this, the casino’s revenue history remains a sore spot.
In November, Borgata Casino’s total gaming win was $55.8 million, while Ocean Resort was dead last at just $11.7 million.
In that same month, Hard Rock AC won $21.5 million.
With that, nine casinos now call Atlantic City home. The news of the sale of Ocean Resort has revived concerns that AC is making the same mistake that eventually led to the casino contraction in 2010.
Is the former Revel a cursed property?
The $2.4 billion casino is the largest property in Atlantic City, but its history is one of ownership changes, new names and bad memories.
Its initial incarnation as Revel lasted barely two years before closing in 2014. It was the cherry on top of a long list of closed casinos in New Jersey at that time.
Owner Glenn Straub took the reins of the casino and turned it into TEN. But after months of broken promises and missed opening dates, TEN never happened.
When Deifik bought the casino from Straub in early 2018, the hope was that the casino would find its footing. In fact, Deifik took over the property with far less debt than what sank the Revel.
For now, Ocean Resort looks to the future with a new owner on tap.