Mark Wahlberg’s Casino Set to Open June 28
One of the highest paid Hollywood actors in the industry, Mark Wahlberg, will be opening a new casino at the end of June 2018, and hopes are high for its success. Wahlberg, who was raised as a Roman Catholic, has even had a blessing carried out on his new casino property in Atlantic City and hopes that his prayers will be answered that the Ocean Resort Casino will be more successful than its predecessor Revel. Set to open on 28th of June, the Ocean Resort was blessed by Father Jon Thomas from the Parish of St Monica earlier this month.
Wahlberg’s Vested Interest
Wahlberg could perhaps be the most apt person to have a vested interest in the new Atlantic City venue since back in 2014 he starred in a movie called The Gambler. He is also set to open a bar in Atlantic City called Entourage.
The Former Revel
Perhaps Wahlberg had the right idea in calling in a priest since the Revel has had a reputation for being cursed for some time. Conceived before the recession hit, the Revel, which cost $2.4 billion, looked set to be the shining hope of Atlantic City’s regeneration, but just as the construction began back in 2008 the economic down turn ravaged the casino sector in the city. When Morgan Stanley, the project’s financial backer, pulled out the developers ran rapidly into trouble and the state had to eventually bail the project out at a cost of $261 million in loans and tax credits.
By the time the Revel opened its doors four years later in 2012, the New Jersey gambling market was in the doldrums and the casino had run up enormous operational costs on top of debts amounting to $1.1 billion. Never able to make a profit, it was losing $2 million every week when it finally closed due to bankruptcy in 2014.
Acquired at auction by Glenn Straub, the property mogul and Florida billionaire at a bargain price of $82 million, just 3.4% of the cost of its construction, the Revel once again hit problems. Instead of seeing his big plans come to fruition, Straub spent almost three years in arguments with the City and regulators over gambling licenses. The result was that the property stayed shuttered.
Praying For A Bright Future
Ocean Walk LLC, owned by Bruce Deifik, a property developer from Colorado, purchased the former Revel from its owner Straub for $200 million in January of this year. While the Ocean Resort looks like it will be opening in a much healthier climate economically speaking, Deifik has taken the time to find out precisely what the problems were with the original Revel casino and he believes he has now addressed all those issues.
The customers of the original Revel resort complained that its layout was too confusing, its building was too unwelcoming, a lack of amenities for those families with children who were looking for entertainment and a lack of smoking facilities. Deifik claims to have learned from these findings and, having spent $175 million on renovations, he hopes that everything will go as he plans when the casino finally opens in June.
Atlantic City and the gambling industry in general are waiting to find out whether he is right, and whether Wahlberg’s prayers will be answered with a resounding casino success.
An energy industry consultant who spends a lot of time on North Sea oil rigs and conducting studies in and around the Arctic Circle. Sean started playing online casino games to compensate for long periods of boredom. In no time he turned from casual player to fan to fanatic and has since made it his mission to study the online casino universe from the players perspective. As a regular participant and contributor to Rick’s Picks, Sean sits in the Rick’s Picks advisory board and oversees our review team.
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