Ocean Resort Casino Seeks A License From NJ Regulators, But When?

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Ocean Resort Casino is on the doorstep of clearing its biggest hurdle.

As the June 28 grand opening of the incoming Atlantic City casino draws near, Ocean Resort is still without a casino license.

The process of changing that status could begin Wednesday.

Hearing set for Ocean Resort

Considered as a key factor in the revitalization of the Boardwalk, Ocean Resort has targeted late June for its debut. Interestingly, another new AC casino — Hard Rock Atlantic City — is also aiming for a June 28 opening.

The difference is that Hard Rock Atlantic City received its casino license May 9. Ocean Resort, meanwhile, has lain in waiting.

Only one hearing with the New Jersey Casino Control Commission was available if Ocean Resort Casino had any hope of sticking to its grand opening schedule: Wednesday, June 6 at 10:30 am ET.

In 11th-hour dramatics, Ocean Resort indeed earned a spot on the CCC’s agenda. In fact, according to the hearing’s notes, AC Ocean Walk, the casino’s ownership group, is the 14th and final item for the committee. The commission, however, reserves the right to deviate from the order listed on the agenda.

That said, Ocean Resort is not on the agenda for a casino license per se. According to the CCC, being discussed is the licensing status of ACOWRE LLC to serve as the casino’s landlord.

The next CCC hearing is scheduled for July 11. As that date obviously comes after Ocean Resort’s intended opening, it is expected that the casino requests a special hearing with the CCC to have a casino license issued. One could be called so long as the commission issues a 48-hour notice to the public.

How big would a casino license be for Ocean Resort?

Ocean Resort has made its intentions clear:

  • It wants to be the go-to place on the Boardwalk.
  • It wants to breathe new life into Atlantic City.
  • It wants to offer a unique and unmatched experience.

Already, the casino has accomplished more than its predecessors. Formerly known as Revel, the property was buried in debt before even opening. Just over two years into its life, Revel went bankrupt. The next casino, TEN, never even obtained a casino license as owner Glenn Straub questioned how necessary it was.

If Ocean Resort Casino is issued a casino license, the casino will have a downhill path toward its grand opening.

It will be ready to hit the ground running, especially when New Jersey ultimately passes legislation regulating sports betting later this week. After all, Ocean Resort recently announced a partnership with British bookmaker William Hill. Ocean Resort also has plans to launch an NJ online casino as well.

Without a casino license, what Ocean Resort could offer would fall short of its ultimate intentions.

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Grant Lucas

About

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant now focuses his attention on the growing NJ online gambling and sports betting scene.