News for the Hospitality Executive
Tropicana Entertainment Asks New Jersey Casino Control
Regain Operating Control of its Casino and Resort in Atlantic City
Seeks to Reverse the Property’s 48% Decline in Gross Operating Profits
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - October 23, 2008 - Making it abundantly clear that William J. Yung does not and will not have any influence or control over the company, Tropicana Entertainment, LLC today petitioned the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (CCC) to regain operating authority over its casino and resort in Atlantic City.
According to company CEO Scott C. Butera, Tropicana wants to run the casino because it believes that there is a better chance of reversing the property’s 48 percent decline in gross operating profits if it is integrated with a larger organization with the financial assets and human resources to invest in its future. The property has been under the control of a CCC-appointed conservator since last December.
“We have assembled a strong, highly competent new management team that is experienced in the Atlantic City market,” said Butera, who himself holds a New Jersey casino key employee license. ”We want to immediately deploy our managerial and financial resources to serve the gaming public and provide tax and employment benefits to the community.
“The need for this action has been made more urgent by the decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court to hear Tropicana’s appeal to regain its status,” Butera said. “The conservator’s sale process for the property, which we continue to support as a way to determine the credibility of current indications of interest, could be delayed for several months, far too long for the casino to be without the benefit of well-financed, professional casino management.”
The petition asks the CCC to appoint a company co-conservator of the property and give him the authority to bring the casino under Tropicana Entertainment’s corporate umbrella where it will have protections afforded under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Tropicana said it will then install a new management group at the property and make investments to improve the casino’s business so that it can be either sold at a fair price or realize its longer term value as a going concern within Tropicana’s current corporate structure.
If the CCC grants the petition, Tropicana will move to file the appropriate
applications for a gaming license and ask the Commission to convene hearings
– “as soon as practicable” – to establish that the newly constituted Tropicana
is qualified to hold a casino license.
“Tropicana is a brand new company,” said independent board member and
former CCC Chairman Bradford Smith. “We have a new, independent board.
We have a new team of experienced professional gaming executives managing
our operations. Most important, we live by a set of business and operating
philosophies that are in keeping with the best practices of a modern day
“The issue here obviously involves maximizing value for our constituents,” Butera said. “But New Jersey and Atlantic City have a lot at stake, too. Selling the casino at today’s depressed prices could have the unintended consequence of lowering assessed values and drastically cutting city tax revenue. Faced with such a shortfall, lawmakers may be forced to increase individual property taxes to make ends meet.
“Likewise, assuming the sale is delayed until the Supreme Court rules, the business cannot be allowed to falter,” he said. “That, too, has consequences in terms of employment and overall returns to the City.
“These are outcomes that we should all work to avert,” Butera concluded.
About Tropicana Entertainment, LLC
|Also See:||Tropicana Entertainment Intends to Try to Block Sale of its Tropicana City Casino and Resort in Atlantic City if Conservator Accepts Unreasonably Low Price / September 2008|
|Atlantic City's Tropicana Casino & Resort, Under the Control of Court Appointed Conservator, Launches million Dollar Ad Campaign Aimed to Restore Image and Recapture Lost Market Share; Colony Capital with First Written Offer - $850 million / January 2008|