Ilitch Family to Purchase Half of New Jersey Casino Resort

The Ilitch family, which owns the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings, Little Caesars, and MotorCity Casino Hotel, announced it plans to purchase half of the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., from Luxor Capital Group, the primary owner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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Ocean Casino Resort
The Ilitch family announced it plans to purchase half of the Ocean Casino Resort in New Jersey (pictured). // Photo courtesy of Ocean Casino Resort

The Ilitch family, which owns the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings, Little Caesars, and MotorCity Casino Hotel, announced it plans to purchase half of the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., from Luxor Capital Group, the primary owner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Subject to regulatory approvals and final closing conditions, the Ilitch organization would own up to 50 percent of Ocean Casino Resort, with Luxor owning the rest.

Ocean Casino Resort spans more than 20 beachfront acres on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and features 1,399 guest rooms and suites, 138,000 square feet of gaming entertainment, 1,937 slot machines, 125 gaming tables, 160,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, 90,000 square feet of outdoor space, four upscale dining restaurants, 11 casual dining options, a 40,000-square-foot spa, and a 5,000-seat concert venue.

The resort also is home to the largest Topgolf Swing Suite in the world as well as William Hill, a sports book that offers land-based sports wagering and online gaming.

“We are extremely excited about the proposed investment by the Ilitch organization, which, if approved, will give Ocean access to growth capital and provide a strategic partner to Luxor,” says Luxor in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to grow Ocean in partnership with the Ilitch organization for years to come.”

According to the Associated Press, the casino opened nine years ago as Revel, a $2.4 billion resort that filed for bankruptcy twice and closed after about two years of operation. Colorado developer Bruce Deifik bought it in January 2018 for $200 million and reopened it that summer. When he ran out of money, Luxor, one of his lenders, assumed ownership of the casino in January 2019 in return for canceling Deifik’s debt.

In May 2020, New Jersey regulators gave Luxor final approval to own and operate the casino. Luxor said it planned to own and operate the casino for at least the next 25 years.

Michigan casinos, including MotorCity Casino Hotel, were closed for much of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ilitch’s MotorCity Casino Hotel, which is owned by Marian Ilitch, offers luxury hotel accommodations and spa facilities, fine and casual dining, live entertainment, and gaming.

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