Upgrading The Revel: Changes To Watch For At AC’s Ocean Resort Casino

Written By Bart Shirley on January 31, 2018 - Last Updated on February 23, 2018

The sale of the resort and casino formerly known as Revel closed a short but frustrating chapter of Atlantic City history.

The Revel’s new owner, Bruce Deifik, has announced plans to reopen the property as the Ocean Resort Casino and spend a lot of money to fix some of the issues.

With that in mind, the Associated Press recently conducted a survey of former Revel customers to see what changes might help the new casino flourish and thrive. The survey revealed five things that Ocean Resort could implement.

Change the layout

One of Revel’s signature features was its casino entrance. Patrons had to ascend a large escalator to gain access to the casino.

The escalator’s design aimed to enhance the grandness of the location. Instead, the height and awkwardness of the device intimidated customers. The escalator likely inspired potential customers to play elsewhere.

Patrons also complained about the difficulty of getting to the casino floor from the parking garage. Long corridors and a lack of signs make for a frustrating experience, and do not inspire comfort in gamblers looking to relax.

Therefore, Ocean Resort should take steps to streamline the traffic flow from the outside to the casino floor. The last thing you want a gambler to do is wonder where the slots and table games are.


Smoking and casinos have been linked for decades. Smokers have found a casino floor to be one of the last refuges for the activity in an increasingly non-smoking world.

Revel distinguished itself from the other casinos in Atlantic City as the only non-smoking facility. Unfortunately, this ruling indicated a fundamental misunderstanding of the casino market.

Casinogoers either smoke or expect to tolerate smoking. Except for the poker room, a smoking ban in a casino is a fool’s errand and can mean the difference between retaining or losing a customer.

Install smoke eaters and aromatics. Live with the secondhand.


Revel had several high-class restaurants on the property. Those establishments had their fans.

Unfortunately, Revel focused excessively on luring high rollers to these sorts of places. The casino did so at the expense of the other patrons, who didn’t want to drop hundreds of dollars each meal.

Amazingly, Revel had no lower cost options, including a complete lack of a buffet. For many people, the buffet is a requirement and one of the highlights of any good casino resort.

The decision to eschew having a buffet is a tragic miscalculation. Ocean Resort management must make sure to include a buffet in the new casino.

Amenities and entertainment

Revel’s Ovation Hall brought many big-name performers to Atlantic City. Unfortunately, it did so at big prices.

Attempting to focus exclusively on high-society clients is a dangerous move in a regional market, even with New York City and Philadelphia as feeder cities. Lower-cost options and variety will be necessary at Ocean Resort’s performance venues.

However, former Revel customers reported that they would like to see the Revel’s five-star pool and club, HQ, return. The popularity of the feature generated excitement throughout the city in its brief run.

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Rewards for all customers

Finally, the former customers longed for a rewards system that gave comps to loyal customers. They wanted a system that appealed to all levels of spending.

As with other suggestions, the familiar refrain for all these desires is accessibility for all people who come through the doors. High rollers like to feel like high rollers, but regulars like to feel special, too.

Casinos have the unique power to make everyone feel like a million bucks. In the end, that feeling is why people spend money in them.

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a writer and poker player from Houston, Texas. When he's not teaching high school math and business, Bart writes about the NJ online casino industry and US online poker. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.

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