|By Suzette Parmley, The Philadelphia
InquirerMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
September 01, 2010 --Gomes Gaming Inc. announced Wednesday that it will partner with JEMB Realty Corp. of New York in the pending acquisition of Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.
Gomes Gaming, headed by gambling-industry veteran Dennis Gomes, announced last week an agreement to acquire the financially struggling Resorts from RAC Atlantic City Holdings L.L.C., a consortium of banks and hedge funds that took over Resorts last December.
Business at Resorts had eroded so much that former owner Colony Capital L.L.C. stopped making payments on its $360 million mortgage in October 2008. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission permitted Resorts' lenders to begin foreclosure in March 2009. On Dec. 16, RAC took over.
The casino, which measures 99,000 square feet and has 942 hotel rooms, is one of the Shore's smallest gambling halls and has been struggling mightily amid existing and new competition.
Founded in 1990 by Morris Bailey and Joseph L. Jerome, JEMB Realty is a leading private real estate development and management company in North America with about $4 billion in assets, including resorts and hotels, residential, retail, office, self-storage, power, and industrial properties.
"We think this is the right time to invest in Atlantic City," Bailey said in a statement Wednesday. "Taking advantage of its superb location and unique infrastructure, we believe Atlantic City can once again be the premier destination location on the East Coast."
That comes as welcome news to gaming analysts who predict that Atlantic City's smaller gambling halls will face an increasing fight to survive and need much new capital infusion.
Resorts, Atlantic City's oldest casino, opened May 26, 1978. With 2,300 slot machines and 85 table games, it reported a decrease of 19.3 percent in gambling revenue for July compared with a year ago, the greatest decline among Atlantic City's 11 casinos.
JEMB and Dennis Gomes will be equity partners in the purchase of Resorts, and the property will be operated by Gomes Gaming. The deal, subject to approval by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, is expected to close at year's end.
"We are thrilled to be working with JEMB on this exciting project," Gomes said. "Resorts is fundamentally an excellent property, and we are looking forward to investing to reestablish it as an exciting destination location." Contact staff writer Suzette Parmley at 215-854-2594 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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