Atlantic Club Casino Hotel filed a mass-layoff notice with the New Jersey Department of Labor, but the company said the document is simply a legal formality connected to the property’s pending sale and no job cuts are planned.
Rational Group, the parent company of online gambling giants PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, has agreed to buy the Atlantic Club from Resorts International Holdings for undisclosed terms. The Press of Atlantic City first reported on the sale on Jan. 16.
Michael Frawley, Atlantic Club’s chief operating officer, issued a statement Monday night saying the casino had to file the layoff notice as a requirement of a change in ownership.
The Atlantic Club filed with the Department of Labor to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN. Under WARN, employers must provide 60 days advance notice of plant closings and mass layoffs.
Atlantic Club’s warning said 1,729 workers may lose their jobs effective March 29. Frawley, however, said there is a “definitive agreement” for Resorts International Holdings to sell the casino and no shutdown or mass layoffs are planned.
“While there is no anticipation of layoffs or cessation of operations, as our company moves through this transaction process, the issuance of notices under WARN and N.J. WARN is a necessary legal requirement,” he said in the statement.
Bob McDevitt, president of Local 54 of UNITE-HERE, Atlantic City’s largest casino union, said the Atlantic Club told him last week that it would be filing the layoff notice.
“According to the company, this is a formality and a legal requirement,” McDevitt said, adding that Atlantic Club assured him the casino will continue operating. “We take it at face value. They have always been open with us. I have no reason not to believe them.”
Local 54 represents about 800 workers at the casino. McDevitt said Atlantic Club employees are not expected to see any major changes in the work force when the casino has new ownership.
McDevitt noted that similar mass layoff notices were made when Resorts Casino Hotel was sold in 2010 and when Trump Marina Hotel Casino changed owners in 2011 and was rebranded as the Golden Nugget Atlantic City.
Rational Group, based on the Isle of Man in the United Kingdom, filed papers last month with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement seeking regulatory approval for the sale. The division has 90 days to conduct its investigation and submit a report with the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. The commission then has up to 30 days to conduct a hearing and make a decision on the ownership change.
“We are excited about the transaction and see it as a positive step forward for the Atlantic Club,” Frawley said.
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