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Revel Casino Hotel asks judge to kill sale

WILMINGTON, Del. — The Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, asked a U.S. bankruptcy judge to end its agreement to sell the gambling complex to Florida developer Glenn Straub for $95.4 million, according to a Tuesday court filing.

The hotel’s legal team also asked Judge Gloria Burns in Camden, N.J., for permission to keep Straub’s $10 million deposit. The Revel asked Burns to hold a hearing on Wednesday to consider its requests.

The sale to Straub became embroiled in disputes with owners of the casino’s $160 million power plant, and with a group of restaurants and nightclubs that once operated in the casino, which closed in September.

The restaurants feared that they could lose millions in construction costs if the sale to Straub proceeded and they were stripped of their leases.

But under a stay of the sale issued by U.S. District Judge Jerome Simandle, it remained unclear if those businesses were included in the $95.4 million purchase price from Straub.

The move to terminate the deal was not unexpected. A lawyer for Straub said on Monday that his client would miss the midnight deadline because it was unclear what they were buying.

Straub lawyer Stuart Moskovitz vowed to fight any attempt to keep his client’s deposit.

“We’ll end up fighting this out for months,” Moskovitz said at Monday’s hearing. Moskovitz did not immediately respond to calls on Tuesday.

Straub has asked the bankruptcy judge to extend the sale date to Feb. 28. Revel AC opposes that request, which will also be heard at Wednesday’s hearing.

If the motion to terminate the sale is approved, it will mark the second time a deal to buy the casino has fallen through after a dispute over the power plant.

Brookfield Asset Management, which won a $110 million bid in October, backed away from the deal in November 2014 after failing to reach an agreement with the Revel power plant’s owners, ACR Energy Partners.

It is unclear what comes next for the casino, the newest built in the financially struggling gambling hub. Opened two years ago at a cost of $2.4 billion, it has never turned a profit and is in its second bankruptcy.

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