Good news! Columbia Sussex forced by regulators to sell Tropicana Atlantic City

Columbia Sussex head Bill Jung III

From my point of view, Columbia Sussex is perhaps the worst casino operator in existence, even including Harrah’s. At least Harrah’s has a fairly generous comp system that can be profitably exploited; Columbia Sussex has mostly garbage games as well as a garbage comp system.

From today’s Review-Journal article:

New Jersey gaming regulators on Wednesday removed Columbia Sussex Corp. as the operator of the Tropicana in Atlantic City, leaving in question the company’s standing in Nevada, where it owns six hotel-casinos.

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission declined to renew the operating license for Fort Mitchell, Ky.-based Columbia Sussex, saying the company failed to meet the state’s strict licensing requirements.

In a statement, commissioners, who rejected a recommendation by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement to give Columbia Sussex a one-year temporary license, said the company showed, “a lack of business ability, a lack of financial responsibility and lack of good character, honesty and integrity.”

The casino will remain open under a trustee’s supervision. Columbia Sussex, however, will have to seek a buyer, commission spokesman Dan Heneghan said.

In Las Vegas, Columbia Sussex operates the Tropicana and The Westin. The company also owns the River Palms and Tropicana Express in Laughlin and the MontBleu and Horizon in Lake Tahoe.

Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander said Wednesday that state regulators had been monitoring the events in New Jersey. Gaming agents have stepped up a presence in Nevada casinos operated by Columbia Sussex, but internal audits have not found any “material violations” of Nevada gaming regulations, Neilander said.

“We’re going to take a look at what New Jersey had done in more detail,” Neilander said. “There can be ramifications for a company conducting gaming outside of Nevada that has shown to have willfully violated gaming regulations.”

Though I doubt that the worthless Nevada Gaming Control Board will actually do anything, at least it claims to be looking at the feeble Nevada operations of this awful company.

Gaming agents have stepped up a presence in Nevada casinos operated by Columbia Sussex … Because the usual presence is ZERO, one agent visiting one property would make the statement accurate.

It is terrific to see a gaming board actually take action against an inferior operator that is bringing discredit to an industry that so often brings discredit and shame upon itself. Congratulations to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission for standing up to a casino. Do-nothing Nevada Chairman Dennis Neilander and the other casino lackeys on the Nevada Gaming Control Board should take lessons from their counterparts in New Jersey.

It would be nice to see Nevada take action to strip Columbia-Sussex of its Nevada gaming license and run these sleazeballs out of the state, forcing the sale of its six poorly-managed Nevada casinos. Unlikely to happen, but let’s hope.


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