Showboat Atlantic City Owner Seeks Casino Eligibility

Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein (l.), who owns the Showboat hotel in Atlantic City, has petitioned New Jersey gaming regulators for a statement of compliance indicating the Showboat could be used as a casino and he would be eligible for a casino license. The former casino was re-opened in 2016 by Blatstein as a non-casino hotel. Blatstein said at the time he had no plans to re-open it as a casino.

Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein re-opened the closed Showboat casino as a non-casino hotel in 2016 saying he had no plans to operate a casino at the site.

But now, Blatstein has petitioned the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for a statement of compliance, a determination that he controls a property that could be used as a casino. The division will also investigate if Blatstein meets the criteria for casino licensing. Seeking the statement is the first step in applying for a casino license.

Blatstein told the local Press of Atlantic City that he is just “starting the process” for licensing, but is keeping his options open for the property.

The Showboat is part of a former four-casino cluster on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk that saw three casinos close. This summer, however, two of the three casinos are scheduled to re-open with casino gaming. The former Trump Taj Mahal is scheduled to re-open as a Hard Rock casino and the former Revel casino is set to re-open as Ocean Resort. Resorts casino also sits in the cluster, though that casino has never closed.

The re-openings would leave the Showboat as a non-casino hotel in the midst of three casinos. Blatstein did acknowledge that the area is seeing an economic rebirth.

“There is over a billion dollars worth of investment in that part of the town, that should not be ignored,” Blatstein told the paper.

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