Atlantic Club Casino Hotel Falling Apart Faster Than PokerStars’ Attempt To Purchase It

[toc]The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel is falling apart faster than the world’s biggest online poker site’s deal to purchase the property once did.

The long-since shut down Atlantic City Boardwalk casino made headlines last week when part of its ceiling collapsed.

Apparently, no one was hurt when the covered entrance to the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel came crashing to the ground at around 4 a.m. local time this past Wednesday. Pictures of a pile of debris and ceiling tiles sitting in front of the property filled the pages of local newspapers.

No police officers or firefighters were dispatched to the property in the wake of the collapse. However, building owners TJM Properties have reportedly been contacted. They are expected to make repairs to the entranceway.

The original Golden Nugget

The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel opened as the original Atlantic City Golden Nugget property in 1980. In 1983, it was the top-grossing casino in New Jersey.

Steve Wynn sold the casino for $440 million to Bally Manufacturing in 1987. The name was changed to Bally’s Grand Hotel and Casino. Hilton Hotels Corporation bought Bally’s and renamed the property Atlantic City Hilton in 1998.

In 2005, Resorts International Holdings bought the property. It ran Resorts Atlantic City and Atlantic City Hilton as a single entity for the next four years.

The property was renamed the ACH Casino in 2011. Less than a year later it was renamed The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel and dedicated as a local’s casino. Soon after, the properties brush with an online gambling giant began.

PokerStars wanted in

In a move most suspected was designed to get a foot in the door of the soon-to-open New Jersey online gambling industry, PokerStars entered into an agreement to purchase The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel for $15 million in December 2012. NJ online gambling industry regulations require online gambling site operators to have a connection to a brick and mortar Atlantic City casino.

PokerStars made an application for a gaming license with New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement. The casino purchase was reportedly contingent on PokerStars receiving that license.

A decision on the license was expected by the end of April. It soon became clear that was not going to happen until at least August. Then, Atlantic Club Casino Hotel sent PokerStars a termination letter. It claimed PokerStars had missed the deadline to purchase the property.

PokerStars sued, but in May 2013 a superior court judge ruled PokerStars’ purchase deal was dead.

The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel closes

The casino closed in mid-January 2014 and has remained shut down. Soon after, Caesars Entertainment bought the property and Tropicana bought all the gaming equipment.

Florida developer TJM Properties bought the property from Caesars in May 2014 for $13.5 million.

TJM made some noise about reopening as a non-gaming property. Earlier this year the company announced another developer would be purchasing the property and turning it into an indoor waterpark. However, financing for that project soon fell through.

PokerStars has since partnered with Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. They opened the PokerStars NJ poker and casino site in May 2016.

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About the Author

Martin Derbyshire

In his over 10 years covering the US online poker, legal NJ online gambling, and land-based casino industries, Martin Derbyshire has worn the hats of award-winning journalist and video and film producer. He has logged countless miles reporting on the world of high stakes gambling.