Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City

The owner of the Showboat Hotel, Philadelphia-based developer Bart Blatstein, says he wants to convert 264 units located in the back tower, which fronts Pacific Avenue, into market-rate rental apartments.

ATLANTIC CITY — State gaming regulators will decide Monday whether the owner of the Showboat hotel can move forward with attempting to secure a casino license for the property.

The Casino Control Commission will consider the petition of Bart Blatstein for a statement of compliance, a preliminary step for securing a full-fledged casino license should he choose to take a gamble on Atlantic City.

Blatstein, through a spokesperson, declined to discuss the matter until after the public hearing.

The Division of Gaming Enforcement has issued a recommendation to the casino commission based on an investigation of Blatstein’s suitability to hold a casino license. The three-member casino commission will vote, based on the DGE’s recommendation, on whether to approve Blatstein’s petition.

Blatstein submitted paperwork to begin the process for a statement of compliance to state gaming regulators in February 2018.

The Philadelphia-based developer purchased the 1.4 million-square-foot Showboat in January 2016 for $23 million. In July of that year, Blatstein reopened the closed casino as a nongaming hotel.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. operated the Showboat for 16 years, before closing it in 2014. The Showboat was the second casino to close in that year, after the Atlantic Club ceased operations in January.

Two more properties — Revel Casino Hotel and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino — shut their doors before year’s end.

If granted the petition, Blatstein would then have to apply for a casino license, if that is still his intent.

In October, Blatstein sought approval from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to convert 264 hotel rooms in Showboat into market-rate rental apartments. The CRDA, a state agency with zoning and land-use authority over Atlantic City’s Tourism District, approved his request in November. Blatstein had originally planned to have the apartments available for occupancy by this summer.

Contact: 609-272-7222 ddanzis@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressDanzis

Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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