Notorious Atlantic City land casino sold on auction and will be shut down in January.
The Atlantic Club land casino, notorious for using a time constraint to back out of an acquisition deal with Pokerstars and make off with that company’s advance monies will soon be no more.
After four days of trying to offload the property on auction the land casino was finally knocked down to two companies with casinos in Atlantic City, Tropicana Entertainment and Caesars Entertainment, who will pay a combined $23.4 million for the business.
Almost immediately, they announced that the troubled operation will close its doors on January 13 2014, reducing the number of casinos in the struggling gambling resort to 11.
Associated Press reports that it will be the first Atlantic City casino to close since the Sands shut down in 2006 to make way for a new casino project that in the end was not built.
According to bankruptcy filings on Friday afternoon, Tropicana will take the 1,641 slot machines and 48 table games for $8.4 million, while Caesars will get the property and its more than 800 hotel rooms for $15 million.
A judge must approve the buyers at a hearing Monday.
Atlantic Club’s chief operating officer, Michael Frawley, paid tribute to the1,659 casino staff but acknowledged that the operation’s pace was “…..unsustainable in the extremely challenging Atlantic City gaming market.”
The Atlantic Club was formerly known as The Atlantic City Hilton, and before that, as the original Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. The owners, Los Angeles hedge fund firm Colony Capital LLC, paid more than a half-billion dollars for it in 2005.
Spokesmen for Caesars were unable to disclose what the company plans for the property once Atlantic Club exits, but revealed that they are to meet with New Jersey gambling regulators within three days to determine what approvals will be necessary in order to end gambling on the premises.
Associated Press notes that the court filings seem to indicate that Caesars may use the hotel portion of the property as a non-casino hotel. It already owns four casinos in Atlantic City – Caesars, Harrah’s, Bally’s and the Showboat – and hotel rooms for gamblers are at a premium on weekends.
The news agency claims that another struggling casino, Revel Casino Hotel, could be headed for a second bankruptcy filing, or could be sold to new owners soon.