CEO of Casino Aztar’s parent company steps down

Embattled casino operator William J. Yung III has stepped down as chief executive officer of Tropicana Entertainment Holdings LLC, which has filed for bankruptcy.

Tropicana owns Casino Aztar in Evansville and 10 other casino properties in Nevada, Mississippi, Louisiana and New Jersey.

According to a company statement released Friday, Yung will continue to serve on a new board of directors, but President Scott C. Butera will take over as CEO of the northern Kentucky-based company.

Tropicana Entertainment lost its New Jersey casino license for Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City after gaming regulators in that state judged it as unable to properly operate a first-class casino because of severe layoffs and poor performance.

Tropicana Entertainment is an affiliate of hotel company Columbia Sussex Corp. of Fort Mitchell, Ky.

On March 31 Tropicana Entertainment announced it was selling off Casino Aztar. A Reno, Nev., based gaming company, Eldorado Resorts LLC, has said it will purchase the Evansville riverboat from Tropicana for USD 245 million.

Tropicana filed last month for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware, listing assets of USD 2.8 billion and liabilities of USD 3.3 billion. Its bankruptcy filing covered nine properties, including Casino Aztar in Evansville and casinos in Nevada, Mississippi and Louisiana.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware will decide whether to approve the sale of the property, but the Indiana Gaming Commission will decide whether to transfer Aztar’s gaming license from Tropicana Entertainment to Eldorado, officials have said.

The Indiana Gaming Commission is scheduled to consider Eldorado Resorts‘ request to transfer the Aztar gaming license to it on Aug. 28.

Along with Butera and Yung, Tropicana Entertainment added three outside directors with experience in financial restructuring and regulatory experience. The directors are merchant banker Thomas M. Benninger, former Metro Goldwyn Mayer CFO Michael G. Corrigan and former New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chairman and CEO Bradford S. Smith.