New Jersey gaming regulators approved the bid for a Detroit-based hedge fund to acquire half ownership of Ocean Casino Resort for $175 million.
Holding company Ilitch organization will own 50% while Ocean’s current owners, New York hedge fund Luxury Capital Group, will retain the remaining half.
The plans were approved following two days of meetings by state gaming regulators, first by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement on Oct. 13, and by the state’s Casino Control Commission the next day. The sale is expected to go through in the next 30 days.
Ilitch, which owns MotorCity Casino in Detroit, the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings, as well as the pizza chain Little Caesars, will spend $75 million on upgrades at one of New Jersey’s youngest casinos.
That includes $70 million to do work on the more than 360 unfinished guest rooms and 100 suites that were not completed since Ocean Casino Resort’s opening in 2012. They will be situated on an added 12 floors of hotel space.
“We are excited to welcome the Ilitch organization to Atlantic City. Their investment gives Ocean access to growth capital and provides a strategic partner to Luxor,” reads an Oct. 14 statement from Luxor.
The sale comes days after Terry Glebocki, Ocean’s chief executive officer, abruptly resigned. Luxury and Ilitch executives, when asked by gaming regulators, would not say whether the resignation and the sale were related.
While a successor has not yet been named, Michael Conboy, an executive at Luxury, said an interim CEO would be named later this month.