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Stockton can find new buyer for Showboat, judge rules

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Stockton University can find a new buyer for the Showboat, a judge ruled.
Stockton University can find a new buyer for the Showboat, a judge ruled. - ()

A judge has ruled that Stockton University can find a new buyer for the former Showboat Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, allowing it to move ahead after a deal with developer Glenn Straub stalled earlier this year.

In an opinion released Monday, Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez said the contract between Stockton and Straub’s KK Ventures was “properly terminated” July 2, meaning the university is “free to market and sell” the shuttered casino. Mendez also ruled KK Ventures is “immediately entitled” to receive the full $26 million it paid for the property, plus interest.

The decision is the latest development in a bizarre stretch of about eight months for Stockton, which had hoped to create a satellite campus at Showboat after acquiring it in December for $18 million. Those plans collapsed in March, when Trump Taj Mahal cited a 1988 agreement with Caesars Entertainment, the seller of the casino, which said the property can only be used as a casino-hotel.

That led Stockton in April to sell the property to Straub’s company. Later that month, Stockton President Herman Saatkamp resigned, after championing the plans, and the deal was not finalized in the required 90 days. Acting President Harvey Kesselman has since moved to get out from under the deal, prompting weeks of litigation with Straub.

Kesselman reportedly said Friday that there were other interested parties in the property.


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