New Bill From Senator Lesniak Could Help Ease TEN’s Casino Licensing Woes

Posted on February 13, 2017

[toc]Last week TEN owner Glenn Straub voiced his outrage to the New Jersey press about the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s decision he would need to hold a casino license in order to offer casino games at the property.

A new bill proposed by state Sen. Ray Lesniak could save Straub the trouble should it pass.

Lesniak bill exempts leasers from NJ casino license rules

Straub’s issue with the committee’s ruling he needed a casino license was that he had no intention to actually be the operator of the casino games.

Instead, the business model for TEN is to lease the various retail, restaurant, and gaming spaces to other companies.

Lesniak agrees with Straub and has introduced legislation to attempt to ensure such an arrangement can take place.

“Makes no sense to have a landlord go through the same lengthy review as a casino operator and stands in the way of its opening and creating business activity and employment,” Lesniak told the Press of Atlantic City.

The bill was introduced on Feb. 6, but as of now there are no set dates for a committee to review the legislation.

Straub still plans on opening TEN Feb. 20

Law or no law, Straub maintained his intention to re-open the property formerly known as Revel on Feb. 20 without a gaming component. The hotel has allegedly been taking reservations and Straub has yet to indicate anything but full speed ahead on TEN’s front.

Straub does have a history of promising re-opening dates only to reschedule.

Straub bought the much-maligned Revel Casino for pennies on the dollar. The casino cost $2.3 billion to build, but Straub obtained ownership for just $82 million.

Once the property was purchased in 2015, he assured New Jersey residents it would be open by the summer. That date then got pushed to summer 2016.

At the most recent hearing on Straub’s New Jersey gambling license, Department of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck said the property was “nowhere close” to offering casino games.

Whether or not it is going to be ready to operate a hotel, retail shops, and restaurants is another matter.

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Lesniak could be seeking allies in gubernatorial race

The motives behind Lesniak’s proposed legislation could be tied to his history of being an ardent supporter of gambling in the Garden State.

There could be other wheels in motion, though. Lesniak recently announced his intentions to run for governor. Helping to boost the Atlantic City economy by streamlining the paperwork needed to reopen the high-end casino could win him points from constituents in that area.

Current Gov. Chris Christie is also considered to be a strong ally of Atlantic City.

Image by Kevin JarrettCC BY 2.0

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Jessica Welman

A graduate of USC and Indiana University, Jessica Welman has long been involved in the poker industry and online gambling. She has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and as the managing editor for WSOP.com.

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