Showboat Atlantic City could reopen its casino floor, if owner Bart Blatstein is issued the necessary license from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the Press of Atlantic City reported.
Mr. Blatstein purchased the property from Stockton University back in January 2016 for the total amount of $23 million. The Philadelphia developer reopened the hotel portion of the Boardwalk resort in the summer of that year.
According to the Press of Atlantic City, Mr. Blatstein applied for a statement of compliance with New Jersey’s casino regulator about a fortnight ago. The Division of Gaming Enforcement will now review the businessman’s suitability to operate a casino in Atlantic City. If Mr. Blatstein is found to be meeting all the necessary requirements under the state’s Casino Control Act, he will be able to obtain a license to relaunch the casino portion of his property.
If the Showboat is allowed to reopen its casino, the renowned resort will become part of the ongoing revitalization of gaming properties on Atlantic City’s famous Boardwalk. The former Trump Taj Mahal is set to open doors as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino this spring and the nearby Ocean Resort Casino (formerly Revel) is expected to follow suit later this summer.
The Showboat’s Closure and What Came Next for the Property
Although the Showboat was still a profitable property back in 2014, Caesars Entertainment decided to close it, after it had been part of the Boardwalk for 27 years, to reduce its business in Atlantic City at a time when the city was struggling with competition from casinos in neighboring states.
The hotel and casino resort thus became one of the four Boardwalk properties to shut down that year. Stockton University bought the shuttered resort in 2015, announcing plans to build a college campus within city limits.
The plan was abandoned shortly after due to a conflict over the purpose for which the property could be used, and the university decided to sell the Showboat to Mr. Blatstein and his company Tower Investment for the amount of $23 million. As mentioned above, the deal was finalized in early 2016.
Touted as the best non-casino and non-smoking property on the Boardwalk, the 850-room Showboat reopened as a hotel-only resort in the summer of 2016. Back than, MR. Blatstein was particularly content with the property’s performance, pointing out that it had a great location on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk with rooms providing beautiful views.
It seems that two years alter, the Mardi Gras-themed property is still performing in a manner that pleases its owner. It is yet to be seen when the Showboat will be able to reopen its casino floor as the licensing process could be a lengthy one and Mr. Blatstein told local media that he had just started it.