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Atlantic Club Casino files for bankruptcy

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The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the operator said today.

The resort filed voluntary petitions today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey, aiming to "facilitate(s) an expedited sale while the property continues to operate in the ordinary course of business," according to a news release.

The former Atlantic City Hilton has grabbed plenty of headlines over the past two years, going back to early 2012, when it rebranded itself as the low-cost gaming option in the resort town. And in December, the parent company of PokerStars moved to buy the casino ahead of the state's plans to legalize Internet gaming.

But those plans stirred controversy within the gaming industry because of the company's run-ins with the federal government in 2011. That gave way to months of litigation that ultimately resulted in the casino and PokersStars cutting ties this summer.

"We believe in our property's positioning and the value-centric niche we committed to nearly 18 months ago," Michael Frawley, the Atlantic Club's chief operating officer, said in a prepared statement today. "Our creative branding campaign and the tremendous efforts of our employees have resulted in property growth within a continually challenged market. Unfortunately, the market has taken longer to rebound than we had hoped."

The casino has seen modest improvements in gaming revenue, rising 11 percent year-to-date through September, according to state regulators. The Atlantic Club also raised its overall revenue through midyear, but continues to lose money.

"We have ample funding to carry us through this process, and anticipate a seamless transition for our employees and guests," Frawley said. "It will be business as usual at the Atlantic Club."

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Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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