CASINO

Revel auction delayed as late bids emerge; Straub’s ‘free, white’ controversy

TAGs: Atlantic City, glenn straub, revel

revel-glenn-straubWednesday’s scheduled auction of bankrupt Atlantic City casino Revel has been postponed until next Tuesday (30) after a pair of late bidders emerged. Ahead of Tuesday’s bid deadline, Revel had attracted just one bidder, Florida developer Glenn Straub (pictured far right), who made a $90m ‘stalking horse’ bid earlier this month for the failed $2.4b casino-hotel.

Late Tuesday, reports emerged that two competing bids had been filed with the New York lawyers handling Revel’s bankruptcy proceedings. The closed-door ‘auction’ is a highly secretive affair in which lawyers scurry back and forth between rooms ferrying offers between bidders and the seller, but Reuters reported that the new bidders included another real estate developer and a party involved in casino operations outside New Jersey.

One of the late entrants is reported to be Richard Meruelo, who attended Revel’s Sept. 15 bankruptcy hearing. His brother Alex’s Meruelo Group attempted to buy AC’s now-shuttered Trump Plaza in February 2013.

The value of each new bid is unknown but they would have to be at least $94m to beat Straub. Even if they improve on Straub’s offer, they would still need to be deemed “qualified” by the bankruptcy court. Straub has made an all-cash bid that doesn’t put conditions on the acquisition, such as Revel being allowed to retain its AC gaming license.

However, Straub’s own plans for Revel raised some serious eyebrows earlier this week following an interview the developer gave to Reuters. Straub said he wanted to build a second tower adjacent to Revel and convert the property into an educational facility where the planet’s best and brightest could help “cure the world of its hiccups.” Said hiccups include solving world hunger, cancer and the storage of nuclear waste.

But Straub’s lofty ideals went off the rails when he described the type of students he hoped to attract to his new facility as “free, white and over 21.” Straub has since clarified that ‘free’ is just his way of saying ‘debt-free’ but that didn’t explain the whole ‘white’ preference. A day later, the Philadelphia inquirer quoted Straub saying he wanted to offer educational opportunity to all sorts of very smart people: “white, black, whatever it may be.” Should Straub’s vision come to fruition, we sincerely hope his tower of geniuses prioritize finding a cure for the dreaded foot-in-mouth disease.

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