There’s a mystery buyer ready to invest some serious money in Ocean Resort Casino.
The pending sale comes just six months after its June 28, 2018, opening (same day as Hard Rock Atlantic City). But once the dust settles and the name is revealed, how will Ocean Online Casino be impacted?
Industry analyst Chris Grove sees it being business as usual:
Would expect the online casino / sportsbook aspects to continue to function as-is for the immediate future. https://t.co/h6eduUCm5o
— Chris Grove (@OPReport) January 10, 2019
New Jersey online gambling + Ocean Resort
Ocean Online Casino, powered by UK-based developer GAN, launched on July 10, almost two weeks after the brick-and-mortar version opened on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
The site opened with a limited variety of NJ online casino games but quickly expanded from there.
From a quality and quantity standpoint, Ocean Resort online casino is still finding its footing. But on the revenue side, things are more down than up for the site.
For comparison purposes, Golden Nugget continues to set the pace and set records. It posted its first $10 million in a month in December.
But considering the partnerships in place for the gambling site and how online casino revenue helps boost the bottom line for AC resorts, it is unlikely the site will disappear.
Rough financial tides at Ocean Resort
The former Revel opened with a lot of glitz and fanfare back in May 2012. The $2.4 billion price tag says it all.
Beyonce even did a four-night residency to open the 5,500-seat Ovation Hall. Former First Lady Michelle Obama also attended one of the shows.
But behind the blue-tinted glass windows, A-list performers and celebrity chefs, the property was buried in a mountain of debt with no escape plan. By September 2014, with two bankruptcies under its belt, Revel closed for good. It was written off as an epic failure in Atlantic City casino history.
Glenn Straub ended up purchasing the property at a heavily discounted rate with plans to reopen it as TEN. But his constant battles with Atlantic City officials and regulators made him walk away, and sell the property to Colorado-based developer Bruce Deifik.
When the property reopened just before Fourth of July weekend, Hollywood celebrities Jamie Foxx and Mark Wahlberg even came to town to help christen Ocean Resort Casino.
No matter what the name on the building is, the property continues to struggle in the all-important casino revenue column. Ocean finished at the bottom of the pack for December in land-based casino revenue.
Ocean is keeping the lights on and doors open
Last Thursday, officials confirmed the sale rumors that have been swirling over the last several weeks. But the difference this time around, unlike its Revel days, the dreaded “closing” word has not been mentioned in any of the stories.
Just like with the online casino at Ocean Resort, gambling, including the Ocean Resort sportsbook, continues through the ownership transition process. In fact, the new owner is expected to invest $70 million into the property, pending DGE licensing approval.
While the leadership team at Ocean Resort has been relatively silent since the news of the sale broke, Deifik had only positive words to share.
“My family and I want to thank the 3,000-plus employees at Ocean for their tireless work to bring our property to life and put it on track to become the best gaming property in New Jersey.”
But the history of Revel/TEN/Ocean shows us, that at least with this property, things don’t always go as planned. For now, Ocean Online Casino is still part of the NJ online gambling market.