[toc]The owner of TEN Atlantic City has little interest in following the rules.
That’s been evident over the past year as developer Glenn Straub has consistently butted heads with state and city regulators. A new report from The Associated Press seems to indicate that’s not likely to change.
Straub and TEN AC vs. the man
Straub has set himself as fighting against the establishment as he tries to reopen the former Revel resort and casino. That’s the property he bought in 2015 for pennies on the dollar vs. its original pricetag of more than $2 billion.
He has said he was going to reopen the resort on several occasions in its ongoing saga, to no avail. Straub has consistently complained about the hoops he is being made to jump through, despite the fact they are asked of every casino and/or business in AC.
Here’s the latest inflammatory quote from Straub, per the AP:
Why, he was asked, doesn’t he simply do what state agencies say he, and any other casino owner, must do?
“I’d be broke,” Straub says. “They’re trying to make me do what my predecessors did. That’s why they’re bankrupt and out of business. They don’t know how to not rape you. It’s like when you come to New Jersey, you have to take all your clothes off and burn all your money.”
Will things ever change for TEN AC?
The comments from Straub and the entire report from the AP’s Wayne Parry cast doubt on whether TEN AC will ever reopen. (Of course, given all the stops, starts and complaining by Straub, this was probably already a likely outcome.)
But Parry paints a picture of someone who isn’t interested in opening Revel unless the rules change. TEN’s website, however, still indicates a planned 2017 opening. But there’s not much reason to put stock in that proclamation.
And state regulators don’t seem interested in change the rules just for Straub. Doing so would likely mean a mess in dealing with other casinos, and indeed other businesses in general. Some of Straub’s complaints don’t have anything to do with a gaming license, but with more basic permits that businesses must procure.
Meanwhile, Atlantic City moves on
The city certainly isn’t standing still while Straub plays games with regulators.
Hard Rock AC is coming in place of the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal. And Showboat in the same neighborhood seems to be doing just fine, sans casino gambling. Its owner has also snatched up some of the property in the area, with designs on redeveloping it.
The former Revel is a glistening, beautiful property on the AC skyline, and it would be good for the city it wasn’t just sitting vacant. But no one is going to hold their breath for it to open its doors.