Three Potential Suitors If Glenn Straub Ever Decides To Break Up With TEN

Since it seems like the latest rumored sale of TEN casino seems to have stalled, we look at some potential buyers who could stand to own the NJ property.

It certainly seemed like someone was buying TEN from Glenn Straub at last. Of course, the last time that happened, it was a false alarm.

This time around, there was more concrete paperwork suggesting a sale was already done. However, now a month has passed with no news. Moreover, once again, Straub denied anyone actually talked to him.

This sale looks increasingly uncertain. The previous potential buyer bought the building next door. Oh, and Straub still does not have a gaming license either.

With that in mind, it is time to start thinking about who could benefit from buying the shuttered casino resort. While there are questions about just how valuable the property is, these people and companies certainly have reason to at least consider the acquisition.

Caesars and MGM

Earlier this year, Caesars and MGM Resorts announced plans to partner together for a large casino resort project. When the companies announced plans, it seemed like the obvious spot for such a property would be the space between Caesars Enertainment’s Harrah’s Atlantic City and MGM’s Borgata.

Both properties are off the Atlantic City Boardwalk. It makes sense to try and build up that marina area of Atlantic City with a third property connecting the two. Additionally, a property between the two properties could make the pedestrian-unfriendly area much more walkable.

However, MGM currently does not have a presence on the Boardwalk, while Caesars does well with the tandem of Ballys and Caesars Atlantic City. Being able to cut down on overhead by not building from scratch makes Revel an option worth at least considering.

Another upside to buying Revel instead of building something new? Keeping a new competitor out of the market and keeping the number of operational casinos down.

Carl Icahn

Many assume Straub’s long-term goal wth TEN is to flip it. He bought it for a fraction of its original cost in 2015. But with millions a month going into upkeep on the unopen resort, his profit margin just gets smaller and smaller.

Now, if there is a man who knows how to profitably flip a casino property, it is Tropicana owner Carl Icahn. Granted, his recent track record with the Trump Atlantic City casinos was not exactly problem-free.

Nonetheless, Icahn is one who frequently buys and sells casino properties. For example, he was the one who profited off Hard Rock International’s purchase of the Trump Taj Mahal earlier this year. He also sold an unfinished casino highrise in Las Vegas, Nevada for $600 million this year. That is rouhgly four times what he paid for it.

Unlike Straub, Icahn has both casino experience and a gaming license. In other words, if the real king of the casino flips got ahold of Revel, he could operate it until a bidder offering a sweet enough deal comes along, rather than shelling out piles of money on upkeep of a closed piece of property.

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Rush Street Gaming

This last candidate is certainly more far-fetched than the other names on our list, but hear us out. Certainly Rush Street Gaming would be undertaking a massive land-based casino if it tried to take over Revel.

There are parts of the plan that might make it worth the risk though. Currently, Rush Street’s SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia already has a foothold ino online casinos in New Jersey, operating under Golden Nugget’s gaming license. It will also have both SugarHouse and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh ready to take advantage of Pennsylvania online gambling when it launches there.

Rivers Casino Schenectady, the company’s latest addition in upstate New York, is underperforming revenue expectations so far, however, it is arguably faring better than the larger and nicer del Lago Casino.

With casino presences in Pennsylvania and New York, the company has the potential to be a major player in the increasingly competitive East Coast casino market. However, with a New Jersey offering, they could improve the company’s position. With a rewards program linking all three states, the company could bring something to the table other companies like Caesars and MGM can’t, which is a presence in all three states.

Carl Icahn Just Can’t Seem To Stop Quitting Donald Trump

Tropicana AC owner Carl Icahn resigned a primarily decorative post as a Trump advisor in the wake of accusations that it comes with conflicts of interest.

President Donald Trump and Tropicana Casino owner Carl Icahn have a long history of working together. However, their latest partnership recently drew to a close.

After accepting a position as Trump’s special advisor on regulatory reform in December, Icahn resigned this week. Speculation in the news suggests Icahn preemptively resigned before a news story on conflicts of interest between his post and his businesses broke.

Icahn addressed conflict of interest claims in his resignation letter

Shortly after news broke, Icahn posted his full resignation letter on his personal website. In it, he addresses the allegations:

“I never had a formal position with your administration nor a policymaking role. And contrary to the insinuations of a handful of your Democratic critics, I never had access to nonpublic information or profited from my position, nor do I believe that my role presented conflicts of interest. Indeed, out of an abundance of caution, the only issues I ever discussed with you were broad matters of policy affecting the refining industry. I never sought any special benefit for any company with which I have been involved, and have only expressed views that I believed would benefit the refining industry as a whole.”

Icahn is correct that this was never an official position in the Trump administration. Nonetheless, from the beginning critics were worried his influence with the President could result in some biased decision making.

Forthcoming report looks at Icahn’s ties to energy industry

Allegedly, a New Yorker story about Icahn caused him to leave his post. The story is live now, but actually posts a dateline of Aug. 28, 2017.

The story focuses largely on Icahn’s financial stake in a company called CVR Energy. Icahn successfully took over controlling interest in the refinery company in 2012. Once Trump appointed Icahn to the advisory post, stock in the company immediately jumped 11.5 percent.

Icahn got to benefit from that jump because his role was not official. With no actual position and no actual salary, Icahn did not have to divest of any business interests that might conflict with his appointment.

The New Yorker piece is rather critical of Icahn and his cutthroat business tactics. It also focused on his stance on ethanol and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). One year ago, Icahn wrote an open letter to EPA Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe calling for a change in how the organization handled ethanol.

During his administration, George W. Bush enacted a measure that required refineries to blend some amount of ethanol into their product. If refineries did not have the ability to blend in ethanol, they could purchase environmental credits from refineries who did. CVR did just that, but soon Icahn and the company saw the cost of those credits skyrocket.

Icahn called out the EPA, and McCabe in particular, for not knowing how businesses operate. His goal as Trump’s advisor was to provide insight from someone operating in these spaces, not regulating them.

Icahn previously gave up on Trump Taj Mahal before giving up on Trump

This is not the first time in recent memory Icahn quit something Trump-related. Icahn purchased the struggling Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City in 2016 after loaning it money to avoid bankruptcy in previous years.

After labor disputes with the local union and a conflict with state regulators that bears a resemblance to his run-in with McCabe, Icahn decided to close the property last November. Hard Rock bought the casino for pennies on the dollar. The company is in the process of renovating and plans to reopen it over Memorial Day weekend next year.

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Tax Dispute Looms Between Tropicana Owner Icahn, Atlantic City Over Trump Resorts

The positive momentum for Atlantic City’s finances might hit a speed bump, in the form of former Trump Taj Mahal and current Tropicana owner Carl Icahn.

The positive momentum for Atlantic City’s finances might hit a speed bump, in the form of former Trump Taj Mahal and current Tropicana owner Carl Icahn.

The problem between AC and Icahn

According to the Press of Atlantic City, Icahn is appealing this year’s assessments for the Taj and the former Trump Plaza. He also has open appeals for previous years on those properties, as well as the Trop.

More from the Press of AC:

The complaints don’t say how much money Icahn is seeking from the city. But successful casino tax appeals over the years have been costly, helping put the city hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.

“Since we are currently in discussions, I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment,” Icahn said.

The news about Icahn puts a bit of a cloud over what had been a run of good news for AC.

Making an enemy of Icahn

Icahn closed the Taj into 2016 following a labor dispute. That didn’t sit well with some lawmakers in Trenton; the state legislature passed a bill that would have penalized Icahn had he tried to reopen the resort without union workers.

Gov. Chris Christie eventually vetoed that bill. Icahn, fed up with the shenanigans surrounding the property, went on to sell the Taj to Hard Rock International.

All of that means the governor, apparently, is still on Icahn’s good side. So there is hope that Christie’s administration can broker another good deal for the city. Christie and the state government negotiated the end of an ongoing tax dispute between AC and Borgata, for $72 million. That came after the state government stepped in to take over the finances of Atlantic City late in 2016.

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Backpedaling for AC?

The problems with Icahn come after some verbal sparring involving Christie and the owner of another AC property.

Christie recently said on a radio show that the owner of the troubled TEN AC — formerly Revel — should either get the proper paperwork to reopen or sell. TEN owner Glenn Straub has promised to open in June.

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