Atlantic Club’s Days are Numbered [AUDIO]
The Atlantic Club Casino in Atlantic City, formerly the Golden Nugget, will be closing its doors for good on Jan. 13 after a ruling from a federal bankruptcy judge.
The casino's closure is the result of a steady decline of gambling revenue seen in Atlantic City amidst a proliferation of gaming options in the Northeast.
Judge Gloria Burns approved a deal that was reached Dec. 23. Two rival casino companies with a presence in Atlantic City, Tropicana Entertainment and Caesars Entertainment, will buy the casino for $23.4 million, essentially strip it for parts and shut it down. The Tropicana will take the slot machines and table games, while Caesars will get the 800-plus-room hotel.
There is no interest by either party to take over operations of the Atlantic Club, resulting in roughly 1,600 employees losing their jobs.
Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business Magazine, believes it is unlikely the out-of-work employees will find jobs at the remaining 11 casinos in Atlantic City.
"Casinos are usually at the bare bones of the number of employees they use, I just heard last week that there are more layoffs at Trump Plaza, which is the next likely casino to close," Gros said.
Gros said in addition to the dent in unemployment, the closure of the Atlantic Club will result in the city losing a source of ratables.
"It's going to put more pressure on city government and it just doesn't look good- perception wise-when casinos close in Atlantic City, but unfortunately it is necessary," said Gros, adding "most analysts believe there are too many casinos in Atlantic City for the size of the market."
The closure shouldn't have an impact for the city's effort to be seen as a non-gaming destination, nor does Gros believe it will hinder businesses coming there.
"This isn't going to affect the number of visitors that come to Atlantic City or their proclivity to come here. There still going to come here, they're just going to go to one of the remaining eleven casinos," said Gros.
The future of the building where the Atlantic Club stood is also up in the air. Gros believes no casino will take its place, however one of the major rumors calls for the structure to be used as a campus for Stockton College.
"This would be a perfect type of dormitory for their students that would come to the Atlantic City campus, which would be hospitality oriented."
Gros added a hospitality based campus in Atlantic City would bring a new batch of professionals who are interested in remaining in the city.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)