Tropicana Eyes New Buyer for Indiana Casino

Casino Aztar in Evansville, Ind., is reportedly on the block again, but not necessarily to Eldorado Resorts L.L.C. Earlier this year, Casino Aztar owner Tropicana Entertainment L.L.C. agreed to sell the property to Eldorado for $220 million, but Tropicana filed for bankruptcy before the deal was closed. The Indiana property–the first casino opened in the state–is a riverboat gaming facility located an 841,800-square-foot area at Riverfront Park on the Ohio River in Downtown Evansville, which is in the southwest corner of the state. All together, Casino Aztar includes a 2,700-passenger riverboat casino, 250-room hotel, 1,660-vehicle parking garage and Riverfront Pavilion housing retail shops, restaurants and a lounge area. Tropicana filed a motion last last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., to seek a better sales price for the asset in an auction. The move comes about a week after Nevada regulators approved a new management structure for the bankrupt casino owner, affirming the choice of Scott Butera as the company’s new CEO. William Yung had stepped down under pressure from the company’s creditors. Tropicana is yet another company beleaguered by debt in the current economic environment. Prior to its bankruptcy, it was unable to to restructure part of a nearly $3 billion debt load, much of which it acquired with the purchase of casino owner Aztar Corp. in 2007 for $2.1 billion. If Tropicana ends up selling the property to another buyer, it would owe Eldorado a breakup fee of $6.6 million, plus expenses. The court will consider the auction request next month.