Revel Casino, ever since it first opened in Atlantic City in 2012, has had an “it” factor.

The Revel cuts a striking profile on the AC skyline. It is a gleaming, beautiful property on a boardwalk full of often dated looking resorts.

And even though it was one of AC’s most striking failures, closing in 2014, it still has a chance to be the harbinger of things to come for a city that hopes for a resurgence.

Revel still working toward a reopening

To say things have not gone smoothly for Revel as it tried to open its doors again would be a massive understatement.

Developer Glenn Straub has been involved in a seemingly endless roll of red tape since purchasing the distressed property at the start of 2015. (He bought it for just $82 million; Revel cost $2.4 billion to build.)

The resort and casino has plans to reopen in the first quarter of next year as TEN Atlantic City. Those plans include having gaming on property, unlike Showboat, which reopened this summer as just a resort and no plans for a casino.

The latest issue is a hold up with a gaming license from the state’s Casino Control Commission. Straub has sued the CCC because of inaction on his license application.

The hopes for Revel

Many hope that a floor has been set for the AC casino market in terms of revenue, now that Trump Taj Mahal has closed its doors.

(There is at least a chance the Taj Mahal reopensif it can work out a labor deal. Revel has also hired some of the Taj Mahal’s executives, making that scenario less likely, at least in the short term.)

But the shiny — still pretty much new — Revel, is still in some ways seen as the future of AC. The Borgata has been the standard bearer for revenue and “cool” in Atlantic City. But AC could use an infusion of “new” and “different.” That’s something Revel/TEN could certainly have a chance to offer if and when the doors open again.

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Casinos not the only key for AC revitalization

Usually, the discussion about Atlantic City begins — and sometimes ends — with the casino industry.

The problems for the city — which is undergoing a state takeover right now — certainly emanate from the problems in gaming and casino closures. But it’s not the only thing that the city is, or should be, focusing on, moving forward.

An interesting op-ed at the Press of Atlantic City hits on the idea that resorts and casinos are just a part of both the problem and solution:

On a recent visit to the planning meeting at City Hall, the Polarcoaster was being discussed, as well as talk of the Boardwalk extension, the casino formerly known as Revel (now known as TEN), food trucks, apartments and several other projects.

 

They all sounded good — and they are –but the one project that really got me excited was Stockton University’s residential campus, which will massively expand its presence in Atlantic City. All of the other projects will bring much-needed jobs and revenue, but Stockton will bring young, educated and upwardly mobile people to live in Atlantic City.

AC is, and probably always will be, a casino town. But the reopening of Revel is certainly not a panacea for what ails the city.

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Dustin Gouker

About

Aside from his role as editor at LegalSportsReport.com, Dustin Gouker writes extensively about the legal online gaming and US online poker industries, having played poker recreationally for his entire adult life. He has also covered sports for The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner, among others.