Judge OKs auction for closed $2.4B Revel casino

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CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — A bankruptcy court judge on Monday approved a Sept. 24 auction for the failed $2.4 billion Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City after a Florida developer offered $90 million cash for the closed building.

Developer Glenn Straub said parts of the building could reopen a couple of weeks after the sale. He told reporters that a casino likely would operate in the building at some point, although his bid does not include a requirement that his company be licensed to run a casino.

"We don't want a vacant building when winter comes," Stuart Moscovitz, an attorney for Straub, told the court.

Judge Gloria M. Burns approved the auction date along with a $3 million breakup fee that Straub would be paid if the sale to him doesn't go through. The auction will occur at 9 a.m. on Sept. 24 if someone else makes a qualified bid. Another bid would have to be at least $4 million higher than Straub's offer and subsequent bids would have to be at least $1 million more, Burns ruled.

A hearing to approve the sale was scheduled for Sept. 30.

An attorney for the casino's unsecured creditors had asked Burns to delay the auction to give other bidders more time.

Revel attorney John Cunningham said no other qualified bids had been received as of Monday morning.

"We don't have another buyer standing in the wings," Cunningham said.

Revel opened a little more than two years ago amid high hopes of turning around Atlantic City's struggling casino market. But the resort shut down Sept. 2 and about 3,000 employees lost their jobs after it failed to find a buyer before an earlier scheduled auction.

Both Revel and the Showboat closed over Labor Day weekend. Trump Plaza is closing Tuesday, and the Atlantic Club closed in January. Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for bankruptcy last week and threatened to close the Taj Mahal casino in November if it can't cut its expenses.

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