The New Jersey Casino Control Commission approved the acquisition of the state’s Tropicana Casino & Resort by an entity owned 46 percent by affiliates of Carl C. Icahn, according to a statement released this week.
According to the Icahn group, this move clears the way for the embattled Tropicana organization to emerge from bankruptcy, in a transaction that is expected to be completed early next week.
Icahn said, in the statement, that “he was extremely pleased that the Casino Control Commission’s approval had been granted and that he wished to thank the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, as well as the Division of Gaming Enforcement, for working so assiduously.”
“There will undoubtedly be tough sledding ahead for Atlantic City, especially in light of the increasing competition from neighboring states,” Icahn said. “However, I believe that Atlantic City, with its beautiful beaches, can again become a premier destination resort. For this to come to fruition, casino hotels must invest capital not only in their own resorts but also in ‘major events’ that will draw gamblers away from competing states.”
Tropicana will emerge from bankruptcy, having erased most of its debts.
One of the most prolific American financiers, Icahn owns more than 11 percent of video game maker Take-Two Interactive. In 2008, he sold American Casino & Entertainment Properties to a Goldman Sachs-backed group for $1.3 billion. Last month, he purchased Fontainebleau Las Vegas, LLC for $150 million.