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Atlantic Club to close after bankruptcy proceedings Caesars, Tropicana reportedly buying assets

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The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel said it will close Jan. 13, making it the first Atlantic City gaming hall to cease operations in seven years.

The financially troubled resort is shutting down after an auction in U.S. bankruptcy court, it announced Friday. As a result of the proceedings, the Atlantic Club has entered into two asset purchase agreements with two rival casino operators — Tropicana Entertainment and Caesars Entertainment, according to the Associated Press, with the companies paying a combined $23.4 million for the business.

"First and foremost I would like to express my profound admiration and respect for the employees of this company," Michael Frawley, Atlantic Club's chief operating officer, said in a prepared statement. "The events of the last few months have evoked an array of emotions, and through it all, the employees of The Atlantic Club have remained consummate professionals.

"It is because of these outstanding individuals that we were able to build considerable momentum over the last year," he said. "Unfortunately, our pace was unsustainable in the extremely challenging Atlantic City gaming market."

The Associated Press reported Tropicana will take the slot machines and table games for $8.4 million, while Caesars will get the property and its more than 800 hotel rooms for $15 million.

The casino and hotel will operate as normal until the closing date, the casino said in a news release. It will be the first shuttered gaming hall since Sands closed in 2006 in advance of a new resort project that never was built.

The Atlantic Club filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month with hopes of finding a buyer while continuing to operate as normal.

The former Atlantic City Hilton had seen modest improvements in gaming revenue but continued to lose money through the third quarter. Last year, 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, giving way to months of litigation that ultimately resulted in the casino and PokersStars cutting ties this summer.

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