Tropicana trustee wants to scrap bids for casino

Atlantic City, New Jersey – The trustee overseeing the sale of the Tropicana Casino and Resort wants to reject all the bids made for the casino so far and start over in soliciting new buyers.

In a letter to the commission, retired state Supreme Court justice Gary Stein also asked the state Casino Control Commission on Thursday for another four months to complete the sale process.

„The best approach is to reject all outstanding bids and to re-start the sale process,“ he wrote. „My financial advisers and I have received expressions of interest from potential buyers — some as recently as in the last week. However, the Tropicana Entertainment Chapter 11 proceedings have impacted the sale process, and I believe the best course of action is an extension of the sale process.“

Stein wrote that a bankruptcy filing by the Tropicana’s former owner, along with still-volatile credit markets, are making it hard to complete the sale by then.

Stein has refused to say how many bids were submitted.

The commission will consider the request at its meeting next Wednesday.

The Tropicana’s former owners were stripped of their casino license in December, after less than a year that included nearly 1,000 layoffs and serious problems with cleanliness and customer service.

The loss of the license forced the property to be sold. The Tropicana, which includes New Jersey’s largest hotel at 2,129 rooms, has been operating uninterrupted since the license denial.

Earlier this month, Kentucky-based Tropicana Entertainment filed for protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, listing assets of USD 2.8 billion and liabilities of USD 3.3 billion. The filing covered nine casinos nationwide, although not the Tropicana in Atlantic City.

Stein said he has spoken with Tropicana creditors, who have agreed not to oppose the request for more time to sell the property.