Glenn Straub Ups Attacks on Atlantic City, Says New Jersey “Rapes” Businesses
Posted on: March 8, 2017, 04:00h.
Last updated on: March 8, 2017, 02:40h.
Glenn Straub says when you come to New Jersey, business owners “have to take all your clothes off” and allow the state to take full advantage. “They don’t know how to not rape you,” he opined.
Yep, Straub just went there. The Florida-based developer has officially removed any politically correct buffer he might have had in describing Atlantic City. Talking with the Associated Press, Straub lambasted the government and casino regulators in the Garden State.
Asked why he isn’t willing to play by the rules that have been set forth, such as participating in the PILOT program (payment in lieu of taxes), Straub answered, “I’d be broke. They’re trying to make me do what my predecessors did.”
Straub purchased the shuttered Revel Atlantic City, a resort that cost $2.4 billion to construct, for $82 million in bankruptcy court. But since his acquisition nearly two years ago, the businessman has engaged in a series of fights with the state’s Casino Control Commission (CCC) and Atlantic City’s local leaders.
Straub argues he doesn’t need a casino license since he’s going to be leasing his gambling floor to a third-party that is currently in the process of obtaining a CCC permit.
But that doesn’t adhere to Atlantic City laws. Morris Bailey received a license on his behalf for his Resorts Casino despite also hiring a vendor to operate the gaming space.
Layers of Bureaucracy
Straub’s frustrations aren’t out of the norm when it comes to doing business in Atlantic City. The beachfront gambling town is infamous for its complicated regulatory environment.
The Casino Control Commission, Division of Gaming Enforcement, and Casino Reinvestment Development Authority are all involved in licensing properties, but incoming owners are often confused as to which agency is truly in control. Muddying the process is the fact that the city itself is responsible for building inspections and infrastructure projects.
Mayor Don Guardian (R) has been trying to help owners navigate the complex burdens. The controversial mayor who is at the center of the state’s takeover of the local government says he routinely meets with owners who have invested at least $1 million in the city.
One man Guardian hasn’t sat down with: Straub. He says he’s crossed paths with the mayor awhile out and about, but the two haven’t met privately.
Straub Playing Hand
Straub has engaged in a public shouting match with gaming officials, primarily Casino Control Commission Chairman Matthew Levinson. Straub says the CCC has held up the reopening of Revel, now officially known as TEN, in an attempt to blackmail him into paying on the previous owner’s outstanding debts.
Levinson countered by saying at a recent hearing, “Mr. Straub, on multiple occasions, has misled people.”
The new CEO of TEN is Robert Landino, a Connecticut developer whose former company is allegedly linked to a FBI investigation relating to its involvement in the building of Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford. Landino has applied for a gambling permit in Atlantic City.
In their lease agreement, according to the AP, Straub has laid out an exit strategy for himself should Atlantic City continue to block the casino’s opening due to his ownership.
The story continues…