With a little less than a week till its June 28 grand opening and after two days of testimony, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission has finally approved Ocean Resort Casino’s application for a gambling license. The hearing took two days and featured Bruce Deifik, the owner of the former Revel Casino, giving a close to two-hour testimony where he outlined his plans for the casino as well its role in the city’s resurgence.
Deifik further pointed out that it took them 13 long and hard months to get the casino license granted and thus the decision by the state gambling regulator to award Ocean Resorts Casino a license was a “dream come true for myself and my entire family.”
The gambling license was granted with a list of 26 conditions to boot – these were laid out by the state regulators at the Division of Gaming Enforcement. These 26 conditions primarily addressed the casino’s financial resources as well as its relationship with JPMorgan Chase, one of its lenders. The goal here was to ensure that Ocean Resort Casino is not afflicted by the same economic challenges that led to the deterioration and ultimate closure of its predecessor.
“I am placing a great deal of confidence in Mr. Deifik, his family and his assembled team to market this property and draw old and new customers to come and experience what Atlantic City in general and Ocean Resort, in particular, has to offer,” the New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chairman James T. Plousis said in a statement after the vote.
Prior to the meeting, the regulator’s commissioners admitted to having a number of serious concerns most of which were shared by the Division of Gaming Enforcement.
“But after listening to the very extensive, and personal testimony of the past two days, my concerns have been eased,” Commissioner Alisa Cooper commented.
During their testimonies, Deifik and Alan Greenstein, Ocean Resort Casino’s chief financial officer, elaborated on their vision for the luxury casino hotel, their finances as well as the changes that they made to the property. Frank Leone, the casino’s chief executive officer also testified on Ocean Resorts’ strategy and plans to attract and keep guests. He firmly believes that they will not make the same mistakes that their predecessor did.
“I can assure you that we’re going to speak loudly and clearly to the core casino audience,” Leone said. “Our promise is to have an unwavering commitment to exceeding guests’ expectations.”
The casino is going to employ nearly 3,300 people, a good number of whom will be Atlantic City residents with prior casino experience. These employees will be assigned to various sections of the 1,399 rooms and 130,000- square-foot casino floor that features close to 2,000 slots machines, over 100 table games, and eight poker tables.