Atlantic City is known as a good-time town of glitz, glam, and of course, gambling. But after over 30 years in operation, the Atlantic Club Casino has filed for bankruptcy. With millions of dollars in both debts and assets, the stakes are high for the struggling casino and hotel — and as profits lag across the entire city’s famed casino industry, others may be next.
Famed Casino Millions in Debt
The Atlantic Club Casino began its life as the more flamboyantly-named Golden Nugget in 1980. For over 30 years, tipsy revelers snaked their way in and out of the casino’s hotel’s 800-plus rooms — that is, when they weren’t busy eating at one of the establishment’s seven restaurants, watching a performance in the 1,600-capacity event space, or gambling somewhere within 75,000-plus square feet of gaming space. But today, the hotel and casino have fallen on hard times, and the old “Golden Nugget” has lost most of its luster.
The Atlantic Club Casino and Hotel filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Camden, New Jersey, early this November. To date, the casino’s assets, including the hotel itself, have been estimated at approximately $46 million, while its debt has been assessed at around $38 million. With over 2,000 creditors eagerly sniffing around the case — and millions of dollars in financial limbo — the Atlantic Club’s bankruptcy is almost as flashy as the casino itself.
Casino Profits Slipping Across Atlantic City
While the Atlantic Club may be treading choppy waters, the embattled casino is hardly alone in its struggle to stay afloat. Casino profits are down across Atlantic City’s entire gambling industry — the industry which, many would say, the entire city is built on. In March of 2013, casino owner Revel AC, Inc. filed for bankruptcy as well, and on an even more grandiose scale, with over $1 billion in debts and assets — each. Revel had been the first casino to open in Atlantic City in over a decade, since 2003. The operating profits of Atlantic City casinos as a whole have slipped close to 10% over the first three quarters of 2013, with a loss of some $2 billion in overall revenue.
What’s causing the widespread lag? Some point to increased competition in nearby Philadelphia, like SugarHouse; some point to a poor national economy which, for many, doesn’t allow for luxury spending; others cite Hurricane Sandy as a crippling blow to gambling profits. What’s certain is that the Atlantic Club is the sixth Atlantic City casino to file for bankruptcy since 2007 — that’s a rate of about one filing per year. But whatever the principal culprit behind Atlantic City’s gambling decline may be, ownership at the Atlantic Club is unfazed.
“Unfortunately,” says Michael Fawley, chief operating officer of the Atlantic Club, “the market has taken longer to rebound than we had hoped. We have ample funding to carry us through this process,” he reassures Atlantic City residents, “and anticipate a seamless transition for our employees and guests.” Matthew Levinson, chairman of the Casino Control Commission, shares Fawley’s confidence. “As has happened in the past,” he says, “I expect that the Atlantic Club will continue to operate just as it has been operating.”
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, contact the law offices of Maselli Warren today.