Tropicana sale needs overtime

After forcing the Tropicana’s owner out, the state must at least make sure the casino sells for its true value.

The retired state judge overseeing the sale of the Tropicana Casino and Resort was right to ask for more time to secure a bid that’s in line with the value of New Jersey’s largest hotel.

Former state Supreme Court Justice Gary Stein is overseeing operations at the Tropicana in the wake of owner Columbia Sussex Corp. being stripped of its gaming license. That happened after a tumultuous 2007 in which Columbia Sussex slashed the work force at the Tropicana and customers questioned the casino’s cleanliness and customer service, prompting the New Jersey Casino Control Commission to not renew the gaming license.

There were at least two bids to buy the Tropicana that were announced publicly, one for USD 950 million and another for USD 850. Stein has not said exactly how many bids there were or for how much. But early in the process, the expectation was that the Tropicana would fetch more than USD 1 billion.

To make the process go smoothly with Columbia Sussex and to assure that company that it is not being cheated out of potential profits by a rush to sell, it’s important that Stein wait for a bid that isn’t what he deems a „low-ball“ offer. The Casino Control Commission was right to extend the deadline for finding a buyer for the Tropicana to Oct. 16.