Caesars Entertainment to File Bankruptcy, Taj Stays Open, SLS Struggles, NY Casinos

It is official. A Caesars Entertainment operating subsidiary will file for bankruptcy in January. The subsidiary carries $18.4 billion of the company’s nearly $23 billion in debt. The bankruptcy would shed about $10 billion of the cash owed to creditors. The company missed a $225 million bond payment earlier this week, putting the company in default on its obligations.

The bankruptcy would split the company into a real estate investment trust and operating company. The move would not affect the operation of casinos or Total Rewards points and comps. Caesars Entertainment guests will not notice any changes at the casino level.

Trump Taj Mahal Closure Date Bumped Again

The Trump Taj Mahal will remain open after all. After months of announcing closing dates, only to bump it weeks later, the casino has received $20 million from Carl Icahn to remain open indefinitely. It was last scheduled to close on December 20. Four of the 12 Atlantic City casinos that were open at the start of 2014 have closed. This includes Trump Taj Mahal’s sister property, Trump Plaza. Atlantic Club, Showboat, and Revel have also ceased operations in 2014.

Changes at SLS Las Vegas

SLS Las Vegas has not been as successful as the owners had hoped. A shakeup this week saw Sam Nazarian, the CEO of the SLS parent company SBE Entertainment, relinquish all management of the property to its partner, Stockbridge Real Estate. This was announced two days before Nazarian was to go before the Nevada Gaming Commission for a gaming license. He received a limited license that excludes him from handling any gaming operations. He ran into problems at an earlier Gaming Control Board hearing when past drug use and an alleged extortion plot led the board to recommend only a limited one year license.

SLS Las Vegas has not drawn guests in the volume that it hoped since its August launch. The buffet ceased operations and many other restaurants have scaled back hours.

New York Issues Three Casino Licenses

New York issued casino licenses to three companies to develop upscale casino in the upstate area. This was one short of the allowable number approved by voters in a 2013 statewide referendum. Montreign Resort and Casino in Thompson in the Catskills, Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, and Lago Resort Casino in Tyre will be the locations of New York casinos. Caesars Entertainment lost its bid to build a resort in Orange County.

Mirage to Temporarily Close Poker Room

Mirage in Las Vegas is closing its poker room for a remodel. The room will shrink from 19 tables to 12 tables. A new bar will be added that overlooks the neighboring sports book. All employees will be laid off but may return when the room reopens on or about May 15. The high limit blackjack section will be smaller as high denomination slots will be moved there, according to Vegas Chatter.