NJ waits for court to act on Tropicana

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - October 29, 2008 The state Casino Control Commission extended the deadline for the casino to be sold until Jan. 21. That gives the New Jersey Supreme Court time to hear an appeal from the former owners of the casino, Tropicana Entertainment LLC, who are trying to get it back.

They were stripped of their casino license last December after massive layoffs led to problems with cleanliness and service, and company officials disregarded state gambling regulations.

The big unknown in the already tortured process of trying to sell the casino is whether the state Supreme Court will agree with Tropicana Entertainment's arguments that it was wrongly stripped of its casino license last year.

The court has set Nov. 17 as a date to hear arguments in the case, and has indicated it may consider the case on an expedited basis, casino commission chairwoman Linda Kassekert said.

In the meantime, Gary Stein, the former state Supreme Court justice who has been overseeing efforts to sell the Tropicana as its trustee, has to maintain the status quo, and not make any further efforts to sell the casino until then.

Stein has tapped Baltimore-based Cordish Company as a possible buyer for the Tropicana in a bankruptcy auction. The company, which built The Walk, Atlantic City's retail shopping outlet, and parts of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, has offered $700 million for the Tropicana.

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