New Jersey Sup. Ct. Rejects Tropicana Casino Appeal
Nov. 25, 2008 – Columbia Sussex of Kenton County, owner of the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City, lost their gaming license after the commission objected to actions taken by President William Yung III.
The company appealed the Commission’s ruling to the New Jersey Supreme Court and cited numerous changes including the firing of William Yung in an effort to obtain restoration of their gaming license.
In its decision on Tuesday, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the former owners of the Tropicana Casino and Resort “lacked financial integrity and responsibility, as well as business ability,” and deserved to be stripped of their casino license.
The unusually quick decision, coming just eight days after the high court heard oral arguments in the case, clears the way for a state-appointed trustee to sell the troubled gambling hall in a bankruptcy court auction.
Yung when President of the company cut nearly 1,000 casino jobs, leading to problems with cleanliness, service, and compliance with state gambling regulations. Among complaints by customers were infestations of bedbugs and roaches in hotel rooms, filthy floors, and dust so thick on drapes and TV screens that guests could write their name in it.
“The massive staff layoffs, the turnover in senior management accompanied by their replacement with personnel with less extensive casino management experience, the cleanliness crisis experienced in the late winter-spring 2007, the regulatory violations directly related to inadequate staffing, and the failure to recognize the immediate need for a conforming independent audit committee, and the intransigence in adopting a conforming committee, all attest to the ultimate conclusion that the Tropicana AC license should not have been renewed,” the court wrote.
The decision removes the main obstacle to Stein’s efforts to find a new owner for the Tropicana, as required by law. He has selected Baltimore-based Cordish Company as a potential purchaser for the casino in a bankruptcy court auction.