GOMES GAMING | News |
SportsInteraction.com - August 26, 2010
By Mike Schultz
Casino Mogul Dennis Gomes Buys Resorts Atlantic City
The once thriving, now floundering, Resorts Atlantic City, the oldest casino in Atlantic City, is being saved from oblivion by Dennis Gomes, once the president of Trump Taj Mahal and now a fixture in Kansas and Indiana casino operations.
Opened in 1978 shortly after the city legalized gambling, Resorts’ future has looked bleak since lenders took control after its owners failed to make payments for more than a year. In December of 2009, it was announced that Resort International wasn’t able to pay the mortgage for the Atlantic City property and a deal was cut to have the $360 million loan canceled and the property surrendered to the lender. In lieu of foreclosure, the deed was handed over to Credit Suisse who reportedly bundled $175 million into a commercial mortgage. It looked like Resorts Atlantic City was facing closure unless a white casino knight were to ride in and sweep it off its dusty feet.
Enter Dennis Gomes. A 30-year veteran of Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos, Gomes is known as a “hands-on” type owner who likes to be a part of the day-to-day operations of his businesses.
“We are going to bring it back to life,” Gomes said in a statement. “I have disagreed with the doom and gloom analysts who have painted a bleak picture of our city.”
Gomes Gaming Inc. released a statement today that announced the plans to purchase the property, but noted that the purchase is subject to approval by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and customary closing conditions. The amount of the purchase was not disclosed.
It is hoped that Gomes, who has managed 14 hotel and casinos, will breathe new life into Resorts as well as preserve the 2,100 jobs the casino provides. And it seems the New Jersey Casino Control Commission is behind him so far.
“This is a very positive development for Atlantic City,” New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chairman Linda M. Kassekert stated. “Mr. Gomes is a proven operator with a great deal of experience here in Atlantic City. This deal will preserve those jobs and hopefully create even more employment as the property improves.”
In the past, Resorts Atlantic City had struggled to compete with its competition as more casinos developed on the boardwalk. While newer and more extravagant resorts squashed their business, Resorts International neglected to upgrade the property.
“I believe in this property,” Gomes said of Resorts. “It heralded the beginning of casino gaming in the East and has always had a special place in my heart. It is an exciting place with a lot of history, and we are going to bring it back to life with even more energy and vitality than it possessed at its creation in 1978.”
Gomes has also served on the Nevada Gaming Control Board and as chief of special investigations for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. A probe he conducted during his tenure on the NGCB was the plot of the Martin Scorsese film Casino, starring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci.
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