The owner of Atlantic City’s Showboat is getting closer to completing the first step in the casino license awarding process
The New Jersey Casino Control Commission will Monday consider a statement of compliance petition filed by the owner of the Showboat Atlantic City that, if approved, will pave the wave for granting a full-scale casino license to the non-gambling resort, The Press of Atlantic City reports.
Philadelphia-based businessman Bart Blatstein purchased the Showboat in January 2016 for $23 million. The property was not operational at the time. Formerly a hotel and casino resort, the Showboat closed doors in 2014. It was the second of a total of four Boardwalk gambling properties that shut down that year.
Mr. Blatstein reopened the Showboat in the summer of 2016 as a non-gambling resort. He submitted his statement of compliance petition in February 2018. Following an investigation whether the businessman was suitable to operate casino gambling on the territory of the state, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has issued a recommendation to the Casino Control Commission.
The casino regulator will vote on Monday on whether to approve Mr. Blatstein’s petition, based on the Division of Gaming Enforcement’s recommendation. If the Philadelphia-based developer is granted the petition, he will then be able to apply for a casino license with New Jersey regulators, if his plans for the property still include adding a casino.
Transformation of One of Showboat’s Towers
It is still unclear whether the Showboat will re-assume its spot in Atlantic City’s casino market. Mr. Blatstein has told the Press of Atlantic City that he will comment on his plans for the casino portion of the property after the Monday vote.
What is known about the future of the complex is that the businessman previously revealed plans to convert one of its towers into 264 apartment units. Mr. Blatstein sought last October approval from the land use department of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approval to materialize his plan. The agency greenlit the project in November.
The 20-story tower located closest to Pacific Avenue is now being transformed into a rental apartment building with a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom units. Commenting on his plan, Mr. Blatstein has said that Atlantic City’s casinos have “turned their backs to the side streets” and that what really intrigued him was the opportunity to “create a community.”
The Showboat originally operated more than 1,330 hotel rooms. It will feature just over 1,000 hotel rooms when one of its towers is fully transformed into an apartment building. The transformation process is expected to be completed and apartments are expected to become available this summer.
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