Tropicana seeks new sale for Indiana casino

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Tropicana Entertainment, LLC, filed a motion in U.S. bankruptcy court to seek a better sale price for its Indiana casino, the same day two unions voted in favor of a new contract for 750 workers at the company's Las Vegas Strip property.
The company hopes to get a higher bid for Casino Aztar in Evansville, Ind. Tropicana already agreed to sell the property to Eldorado Resorts in March, but says it was operating under a different governance structure.
"We are committed to obtaining maximum value of our assets and to doing what is right for all of our constituents," Tropicana chief executive Scott Butera said.
If Tropicana sells the casino to another company, it would pay Eldorado a breakup fee of $6.6 million and reimburse Eldorado for expenses, Tropicana officials said.
In Las Vegas, culinary union officials said their members and members of the bartenders union voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new 5-year deal for the workers at the Tropicana casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
Union officials said the new deal included increases in guaranteed gratuities for tipped workers, provisions for workers who get called to military duty and back pay for employees who missed raises while working under an extended contract.
Last week, Nevada gambling regulators unanimously approved a management for the bankrupt Tropicana Entertainment, which owns 11 casino properties in the United States.
The plan approved by the state Gaming Commission put the corporation in the hands of a new board and Tropicana chief executive Scott Butera.
The new managing board is headed by restructuring banker Thomas Benninger. Other members include Butera, Michael Corrigan and Bradford Smith, a former chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.
Tropicana Entertainment has been trying to restructure part of a nearly $3 billion debt load, which stems largely from its $2.1 billion buyout of Aztar Corp. in 2007. Financial problems began after the company lost its license to operate the Tropicana Atlantic City and the economy slumped.
As part of the restructuring, Tropicana Entertainment intends to move its main offices from Crestview Hills, Ky., to Las Vegas. Besides its Tropicana resort on the Strip, the company's other Nevada properties include the Horizon and MontBleu hotel-casinos on Lake Tahoe's south shore; and the River Palms and Tropicana Express resorts in Laughlin, on the Colorado River.
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On the Net:
Tropicana Entertainment LLC: www.tropicanacasinos.com

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
AP-NY-08-24-08 1741EDT


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