ATLANTIC CITY — Ocean Resort Casino expects to capture more than 10 percent of the resort’s gaming market when it opens later this month, according to executives who testified Wednesday before the state Casino Control Commission.

Executives’ gambling revenue projections would put the former Revel at about the middle of the Atlantic City casino pack, but owner and Chairman Bruce Deifik told regulators the reopening of the $2.4 billion Boardwalk property, which he purchased for $200 million Jan. 4, will “surprise the world.”

“We have an incredible opportunity to turn Ocean Resort into one of the greatest properties in the world,” Deifik said Wednesday. “Not just in Atlantic City, but in the world.”

Deifik and Chief Financial Officer Alan Greenstein testified for nearly 3½ hours Wednesday before the license hearing was suspended. The hearing will resume at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The casino is scheduled to open June 28, the same day as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. With $40 million cash in reserves, Deifik said he is ready to go.

Actor, comedian and entertainer Jamie Foxx will serve as the host for opening weekend, Deifik said Wednesday, adding he also tried to bring a beloved New Jersey icon to town.

“We went to Bruce Springsteen’s agents and said, ‘We’d sure love to be able to have a free concert on the beach, no charge,’” Deifik said. “I assumed if you wrote a $1 million check to his charity” that would get Springsteen to agree, Deifik said.

“They came back and said, ‘$5 million,’” he said.

In explaining why he felt confident his investment will become a world-class destination, Deifik cited a renewed focus on guest satisfaction, additional amenities, such as the largest indoor TopGolf Swing Suite in North America, and a partnership with Hyatt Hotels’ Unbound Collection.

According to numbers submitted to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, projections are the casino will generate $384.6 million in net revenue and a gross operating profit of $81.1 million in 2019. Greenstein predicted the casino will take in $292 million in overall gambling revenue in its first year, and $127 million in nongaming revenue.

Greenstein said the resort plans to gain about 10.5 percent of the Atlantic City market, increasing to 12 percent by 2021.

“We believe our numbers are very achievable,” he said.

Including existing debt, monthly service payments, renovations and the purchase price, Deifik paid nearly $279 million to open Ocean Resort. JPMorgan Chase and Luxor Capital Group helped the Deifik family partnership finance the purchase.

The Casino Control Act details certain benchmarks Ocean Resort must satisfy before the commission can grant the property a license, including demonstrating good moral character, honesty and integrity, sufficient financial resources, and casino and business experience.

The DGE included a list of 26 specific financial conditions Ocean Resort must comply with, contingent upon approval of its license application, to ensure the stability of the property.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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