Atlantic Club Casino Closes its Doors

The 33-year old casino, formerly known as the Golden Nugget, was sold to competitors for $23.4 million after it filed for bankruptcy in November.

The slot machines fell silent and the lights went out one last time at the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.

Shortly after midnight Sunday, the 33-year old casino closed its doors for good, reportedly leaving 1,600 employees jobless and unanswered questions regarding the property’s future. Dealers, cocktail waitresses and longtime patrons spent the night on the casino floor, counting down to the landmark’s final moments.

After declaring bankruptcy in November, the Atlantic Club was sold to rival enterprises for $23.4 million. Tropicana Entertainment purchased the table games, slot machines and customer lists, while Caesars Entertainment bought the 801-room hotel, though they do not have any current plans to operate the oceanfront building.

Formerly known as the Golden Nugget, the Atlantic Club Casino opened in December 1980 and was once Atlantic City’s top earning casino. It was initially owned by casino-magnate Steve Wynn, the man famous for revamping the Las Vegas strip and for starring alongside Frank Sinatra in goofy television ads for the hotel.

The landscape of the Atlantic City night scene began to shift with the rise of more contemporary and lavish hotel-casinos, which boasted 2,000-plus rooms, raucous nightclubs, pools and spas. As customers began to migrate to rival casinos in neighboring states and with the popularity of online gambling, the Atlantic Club continued to lose market share. Another factor in the casino’s decline was the state’s decision to financially support Revel Casino while turning a blind eye to the Atlantic Club. In 2011, the state announced $261 million in state tax-reimbursements over 20 years for the then half-finished Revel.

But Revel has yet to fulfill its promise of rejuvenating all of Atlantic City. Revel emerged from bankruptcy in November after filing in March, and is currently exploring a possible sale.

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