Latest Chapter for Atlantic Club is Chapter 11

The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in Atlantic City has been successful at one thing this year: keeping its name in the headlines.

News broke this week that the ailing land-based casino filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the move is a precursor to a sale at auction.

Property has struggled for several years along with Atlantic City as a whole

In documents filed in New Jersey, the Atlantic Club listed its land value at $10 million and the value of its buildings at half that – $5 million.

As we reported earlier this week, land values in Atlantic City have plummeted right along with the city’s gambling revenue, which has declined every year since reaching a peak back in 2006.

The Atlantic Club’s total debts stand somewhere between $10 million and $50 million, with some liabilities – such as employee pensions – yet unknown, according to the paper.

The current owner of the Atlantic Club, which in recent years has branded itself as a downmarket locals casino with the rather dismal slogan of “a casino for the rest of us,” is California-based investment group Colony Capital.

Atlantic Club killed deal with PokerStars earlier this year

Earlier this year, the Atlantic Club was in the news at first due to its agreement to be bought out by the parent group of online poker behemoth PokerStars, Isle of Man-based the Rational Group, and later, its move to terminate said purchase contract.

That deal, which was first agreed upon last December but only came to light at the beginning of 2013, was abruptly canceled by the Atlantic Club this past Spring, with the casino citing PokerStars’ failure to gain interim licensing from New Jersey gaming regulators prior to an outside date stipulated in the purchase contract as the reason behind the termination.

PokerStars sued to get the sale back on track, a move that ultimately failed as the case was decided in favor of the Atlantic Club, one of the worst-performing of Atlantic City’s twelve land-based casino properties.

PokerStars still pursuing New Jersey iGaming license

The company’s defeat in the Atlantic Club case, however, was fairly short-lived; PokerStars went on to announce a partnership with Resorts, Inc., the oldest casino in Atlantic City, in short order.

It should be noted that while real money online gambling web sites are set to be open to all Garden State residents and visitors, so long as they are located within the state’s borders at the time they access the games, in a short 19 days, PokerStars has yet to be issued a license by New Jersey gaming officials.

Should PokerStars receive a New Jersey iGaming license, it will represent a re-entry into the U.S. real money online poker market, having not offered games to American players since its site was shuttered and funds seized amid a crackdown on unregulated offshore companies by the United States government in April of 2011.

Whether or not New Jersey officials issue the company a license remains to be seen; there are some – including powerful lobbying group the American Gaming Association – who would like to see such companies barred from participating in the nascent U.S. regulated online wagering market.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on BestOnlineCasinos.com, USPokerSites.com, and LegalUSPokerSites.com

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