TEN Owner Straub Compares His Atlantic City Casino Licensing Experience To “Rape”
He also says if he had to run all his businesses the way Atlantic City casinos operate, he’d be broke.
Comment stems from legal woes, NJ casino licensing red tape
Straub gave an interview to the Associated Press about his persistent conflicts with Atlantic City officials over issues ranging from liquor licenses to gaming licenses to tax rates.
He told the AP the impetus behind refusing to play by the same rules as his predecessors in the city:
“I’d be broke. They’re trying to make me do what my predecessors did. That’s why they’re bankrupt and out of business. They don’t know how to not rape you. It’s like when you come to New Jersey, you have to take all your clothes off and burn all your money.”
The “rape” comment is drawing more attention than Straub’s standard outbursts. Straub has certainly suggested incompetence in Atlantic City, but never before compared it to assault, sexual or otherwise.
Is Straub right or making excuses?
There is some deliberation about how much the red tape actually holds up Straub and his plans and how much he scapegoats the city for his long list of missed deadlines.
The latest one came on Feb. 20, when TEN was supposed to have its grand opening. The week before the big day, city officials said they reached out to the property in an attempt to expedite crucial paperwork to obtain things like liquor licenses.
When it became clear TEN was not going to open, Straub blamed the delays on city officials even though the company had not even filed for the necessary permits just 48 hours before the promised opening.
Showboat suit latest legal setback for Straub
Straub has a number of pending court cases in regards to TEN, which he purchased in 2015 but has not re-opened. His latest judicial setback came last week when the latest ruling came down in his lawsuit against the Showboat Casino and Stockton University.
The school bought the shuttered casino in 2014. It had trouble with its plan of re-opening the property as an extension campus thanks to conflicting deed restrictions from previous owners.
The school later agreed in principle to sell the property to Straub for $26 million, but the window for the contract expired before terms could be finalized. Showboat and Stockton then cancelled the deal.
Straub sued Showboat, claiming the company did not exercise sufficient effort to resolve the deed restrictions. The original court ruling favored the university and an appellate court agreed Straub had no claim to the Showboat and could not continue using the electricity from its property.
Straub bought the property as part of a larger Atlantic City rejuvenation project. He claimed he was going to invest $500 million in the city, but the real selling point for Straub was the Showboat’s power plant. After clashing with the power plant which previously provided Revel electricity, Straub told plant officials to effectively get off his lawn and remove themselves from the premises.
The Showboat purchase seemed like a solution to his electricity problem since the casino is situated next door to Revel. Instead it is yet another headache for Straub.
Stockton now plans to move forward on a sale of the property to Bart Blatstein. The transaction was being held up by this ongoing court battle.[i15-table tableid=5268]
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