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Mark Wahlberg Has Priest Bless Atlantic City's Failed $2.4B Casino With Holy Water: Report

Ocean Resort Casino To Open June 28


The shuttered Atlantic City casino formerly known as Revel has a bizarre history, but everything just got a little stranger after actor turned investor Mark Wahlberg visited the property this month.

According to PageSix, Wahlberg on Saturday had a priest tour the gambling den, soon to be called Ocean Resort Casino, to give it a blessing. The priest, Rev. Jon Thomas of the Parish of St. Monica, reportedly tossed some holy water around in the casino for some extra good luck for Wahlberg’s financial stake in the project.

While that might sound rather insane, there are plenty of documented cases of priests in America getting in serious legal trouble for gambling.

Revel, which cost an Atlantic City casino record of $2.4 billion to build, closed in 2014 after about two years in business. It was a financial disaster. The rebooted property will reopen June 28 after a $175 million renovation. Wahlberg will have a restaurant in the casino, and he’s also a co-owner in the property’s nightclub.

Ocean Resort Casino will have 100 table games, 2,000 slots and 1,400 hotel rooms.

Revel was sold in 2016 for just $82 million, but owner Glenn Straub, a real estate investor from Florida, sparred with New Jersey casino regulators over his licensing requirements. He eventually flipped the property (after threatening to leave it vacant for years), selling it to Denver-based Integrated Properties for $200 million last year.

“We are incredibly excited that we were able to take advantage of the opportunity to acquire this tremendous property at a time when Atlantic City is seeing great economic strides,” Bruce Deifik, CEO and founder of Integrated Properties, said in a statement announcing the deal.

Before the sale, Straub once considered turning the property into a university where his ideal student would have been “white and over 21.” He said the school was “going to be for geniuses.” That plan was fortunately ditched. He also considered using the casino to house Syrian refugees.