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NEWS
January 10, 2015 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - The new method of casino taxation under consideration by state legislators could have an unintended casualty: the highly regarded Atlantic City Free Public Library. State legislators acknowledged Thursday that the Atlantic City recovery bills, as currently written, would leave the library in the lurch for much of its current $5 million budget. Library director Maureen Sherr-Frank said Thursday that it would remove 70 percent of the funding. Marshall Spevak, aide to State Sen. Vincent Mazzeo, said legislators would seek a remedy in the bill to prevent any drastic impact on the library, which also operates a branch on Richmond Avenue, and the city's historical museum and archives.
NEWS
January 7, 2015 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - Liza Cartmell, president of the casino-funded Atlantic City Alliance marketing group, said Monday that she was leaving her $400,000-a-year post, ahead of legislation being considered that would disband the group and divert its $30-million-a-year funding. "As you all so painfully know, Atlantic City is in a time of transition and all its major institutions are proactively adapting to a new reality," Cartmell wrote in an e-mail "to my AC friends. " She said the alliance, responsible for the "Do AC" campaign, would continue its work "with a reduced staff and realigned resources and priorities - pending definitive legislative/executive action to resolve its status and possible funding (or not)
NEWS
January 5, 2015 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Last year started out bad and only got worse for Jose and Karla Mercado. Both worked at the Atlantic Club and lost their kitchen jobs last January when the casino became the first of four in Atlantic City to close. They're still out of work, and with their unemployment benefits and food stamps exhausted, and their savings nearly depleted, their only relief comes from the Community Food Bank of New Jersey's branch here in Egg Harbor Township. The Mercados are among 8,000 South Jersey families stung by the casino layoffs that the center, a nondescript yellow building at 6735 Black Horse Pike, is assisting.
NEWS
December 22, 2014 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - The 22d annual toy drive by the local nonprofit Just 4 Kids came Saturday in a holiday season like no other for Atlantic City - holiday cheer for some of the children whose families have suffered from unprecedented casino layoffs. Among the 200 families treated at St. Michael's Church was that of Flor Dalia Castro, 41, of Atlantic City, who said she has one wish this Christmas: a job. She lost her cleaning job of two years at Revel when the casino closed four months ago. Unemployed since, she has five children, from 3 to 13 years old, and a husband with kidney cancer to support.
NEWS
December 20, 2014 | By Amy S. Rosenberg and Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writers
A deal between billionaire Carl Icahn and the casino workers union in Atlantic City fell apart Thursday, but Icahn said he would spend $20 million to keep the bankrupt Trump Taj Mahal open past a looming Saturday closing date. Icahn made his pledge in a letter posted on Twitter about an hour after union president Bob McDevitt accused Icahn of backing out of the deal. Icahn said he remained hopeful a deal could be reached, and said he would spend up to $20 million to keep the casino open through bankruptcy proceedings.
NEWS
December 20, 2014 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Staff Writer
The three losing bidders and the owner of the city's only existing casino all are heading to the state Supreme Court to challenge the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's decision to grant a second casino license for a gambling complex proposed near the South Philadelphia sports complex. The gaming board issued the license last month to Live! Hotel & Casino, a joint venture by Cordish Cos. of Baltimore and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, which also owns Parx Casino in Bensalem. The companies argued that a stadium-area casino would draw sports fans and appeal to gamblers who wanted to arrive by car. The losing applicants had 30 days to appeal to the state's high court, and all were expected to file challenges by the end of Thursday - as lawyers did by late afternoon on behalf of proposed Center City casinos Market8 and the Provence.
NEWS
December 16, 2014 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - It wasn't long ago that the ovens at Formica Bros. Bakery were going full blast - putting out 50,000 pieces of bread a day. As recently as 2007, the nearly century-old establishment in the city's Ducktown section employed 70 people. Owner Frank Formica recalls how orders from casinos were like yeast to his dough, lifting his bakery's bottom line ever higher. Then, pummeled by out-of-state competitors, the casinos began to fall into a swoon, and this year, as four of them closed, Formica lost a big chunk of his business "in the blink of an eye. " He is down to 35,000 to 40,000 pieces a day, employs 40, and is sending his trucks ever farther to find new customers.
BUSINESS
December 14, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
As Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. - which owns 99.5 percent of Harrah's Philadelphia - negotiates with lenders over how to restructure its debilitating $18.43 billion debt load, the Chester property appears to be sitting on the sidelines. Bank lenders owed $5.4 billion on Thursday evening released documents detailing proposals that would wipe out as much as $10 billion in Caesars bank and bond debt, but Harrah's Philadelphia's $330 million in bonds remain whole under the plans.
BUSINESS
December 14, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gloria M. Burns on Friday approved Revel AC Inc.'s request to terminate the deal to sell the closed Atlantic City casino to Brookfield Asset Management Inc. for $110 million. Next up for the $2.4 billion Revel, which opened in April 2012 and never turned a quarterly profit, is a Jan. 5 hearing for the judge to consider a sale to the backup bidder, Florida investor Glenn Straub, for $95.4 million. Neither Brookfield nor Straub - in Key West, Fla., for an unrelated court hearing - were represented at the hearing or on the phone participating in the hearing in Camden.
BUSINESS
December 11, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The full extent of Atlantic City's economic turmoil showed up in October's metropolitan-area employment report, released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Atlantic County, which is home to Atlantic City, lost 9,900 jobs in the 12 months ended Oct. 31, as four of the city's dozen casinos closed. A fifth, the Trump Taj Mahal, could close Dec. 20. The next-biggest job loss nationally - 2,200 - was recorded in Davenport, Iowa, and two cities just across the Mississippi River in Illinois.
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