Hard Rock Still Interested in an Atlantic City Casino
Seminole Hard Rock is still interested in being a player in the Atlantic City gaming market.
Jim Allen, the CEO of Hard Rock International, was in town Thursday to appear before the Casino Control Commission, where the company applied for a fast-track of a state gaming license.
Allen said Hard Rock International, the Florida-based company owned by the Seminole Indian tribe, is still tempted by the closed Revel Casino and has "unofficial conversations" with Glenn Straub, the anticipated incoming owner of Revel.
Allen told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “It's certainly very intriguing just from an economic standpoint of a $2 1/2 billion building being purchased for $94 million,” Allen said of the Revel after the hearing. He said, “We certainly know Mr. Straub,” the maverick businessman and polo impresario who is also based in Florida.
Allen said Hard Rock had submitted an unsuccessful bid for Revel prior to its auction last year.
Hard Rock International is a separate company from Brookfield Asset Management, which runs a Hard Rock-brand hotel in Las Vegas. Brookfield was the high bidder at the Revel auction but walked away from the purchase, leaving it to runner-up Straub.
Allen is a South Jersey native who got his start in the Atlantic City casino market. He said the Hard Rock “does not have a specific transaction” in hand but is evaluating opportunities. “We still believe there's opportunity in Atlantic City,”
Hard Rock had earlier considered opening a boutique hotel casino on the A.C. Boardwalk, but later dropped the plan.
But Allen added that the Hard Rock would have "100% interest" in any possible north Jersey casino property, if casino gaming outside of Atlantic City is ultimately allowed in the state.