"It's the only place in Atlantic City where you can play blackjack, listen to live entertainment, look out at the beautiful Atlantic City skyline, and look out over the water," he said.
Atlantic City casinos dealing with cutthroat competition from neighboring states have expanded gambling into areas where it never had been permitted before. Patrons can now gamble at bars, pools, and shopping areas linked to the casinos.
Atlantic City's casino revenues fell from a high of $5.2 billion in 2006 to $3.3 billion in 2011. So far this year, casino revenues are running 7 percent behind that pace.
In a different matter, the Golden Nugget has withdrawn its conditional offer to not fight a judge's order to pay up in a series of disputed card games.
Unbeknownst to the players and casino personnel, the games were played in April with decks that were sent unshuffled by the manufacturer. Players upped their bets as they detected a pattern in the hands, winning more than $1.5 million.
A judge said that the players did nothing wrong and that even with an unshuffled deck, there was no guarantee that the pattern would not abruptly end on any given hand. He ordered the casino to honor the remaining outstanding chips and drop efforts to get back the $500,000 or so it had already paid out.
On Friday, the owner of the Golden Nugget said he would pay the gamblers their disputed winnings and turn his legal attention instead to the Kansas City card manufacturer that provided unshuffled decks for the mini-baccarat games.
But Tilman Fertitta's offer was contingent on the gamblers' dropping lawsuits against the casino. Lawyers for the gamblers have refused to do so. They say the gamblers have lost money on attorney fees and interest, and are angry at being labeled cheaters.
The casino filed court papers on Tuesday seeking to overturn the judge's order. The Golden Nugget described the move as preserving its legal rights and said its offer to pay up once lawsuits are dropped still stands.
"I am disappointed that our players and customers refused to accept our offer to cash in all unredeemed chips," Fertitta said Wednesday. "I wanted to resolve this matter and put it behind us.