The long and sordid saga of The Atlantic Club is now reaching a conclusion. As reported by ABC News and other sources, the struggling casino will close its doors on January 13, 2014.
The casino had been in the middle of a bankruptcy auction the last four days and earlier today it was announced that the property was sold to Caesars Entertainment and Tropicana Entertainment for a sum of $23.4 million. Business will continue as normal until January 13th when the doors will be locked and the assets divided.
The Tropicana will absorb The Atlantic Club’s slot machines and table games while Caesars will take over the hotel property. Caesars plans to take the non-gambling assets of the property and divide them up between their Bally’s Harrah’s and Showboat properties. Afterwards they will “consider various options for the rest.”
COO of The Atlantic Club Michael Frawley commented on the closure, stating, “First and foremost I would like to express my profound admiration and respect for the employees of this company.”
“The events of the last few months have evoked an array of emotions, and through it all, the employees of the Atlantic Club have remained consummate professionals. It is because of these outstanding individuals that we were able to build considerable momentum over the last year. Unfortunately our pace was unsustainable in the extremely challenging Atlantic City gaming market.”
The Atlantic Club currently employs over 1,650 employees, all of which will be out of work come mid-January. The casino was the sixth one to file for bankruptcy protection in the last six years. Revel recently emerged from bankruptcy protection but is rumored to possibly be heading there again or towards a sale. The Atlantic Club was reportedly sold to PokerStars earlier in the year but failure of the company to acquire regulatory approval allowed for The Atlantic Club to back out the deal. Things have went downhill for the casinos since.
The closure of The Atlantic Club reduces the number of Atlantic City casinos to 11. The Sands closed in 2006 in lieu of a new casino project, but that project never materialized. With the struggling market, one has to wonder whether other casino closures are in the city’s future. Also, will Caesars actually take on another hotel property in the city or sell of the property in much the same way they sold Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas after acquiring the World Series of Poker brand.