Rumors Swirling Regarding Atlantic Club Sale, Notice Filed on Shuttered Atlantic City Casino

Posted on: February 4, 2019, 08:34h. 

Last updated on: February 4, 2019, 08:34h.

The long-shuttered Atlantic Club casino in Atlantic City might have a new owner after a notice of settlement on the Boardwalk property was filed with the county.

Atlantic Club Atlantic City casino
It’s been quiet at the Atlantic Club for half of a decade, but that could soon change. (Image: Tim Hawk/

The Press of Atlantic City was first to report that current owners TJM Properties, a Florida-based real estate developer, might have finally found a buyer for the closed casino resort. The Atlantic County document lists Jeffrey Smolinsky of North American Acquisitions as the buyer.

No sale price is listed on the notice of settlement, which was completed on December 6, 2018.

We have only spoken to him a handful of times,” TJM spokesman Matt Bradley told the Press. “It appeared he is in the principal, and we have not heard from him in a few weeks.”

TJM specializes in senior living residencies, as well as hotels. On its website, TJM lists the Atlantic Club in its “Other Real Estate” category. The company additionally owns the former Harrah’s Tunica in Mississippi.

Deal, No Deal

The Atlantic Club was the first of four casinos to close in 2014 when it shuttered its doors in January. Caesars Entertainment would sell the resort to TJM in May of that year for $13.5 million.

The acquisition, however, came with a deed restriction that prevents it from reopening as a casino. TJM has been working with Caesars in hopes of having the restriction lifted.

Over the last five years, there’s been plenty of rumors regarding the future of the southernmost casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.

In 2016 and 2017, two separate companies were close to acquiring the Atlantic Club, with plans to transform the resort into a waterpark. But financing fell through both times, leaving TJM with the closed casino.

Stockton University was most recently in talks to buy the property. The New Jersey school opened their Atlantic City campus adjacent to the Atlantic Club last year.

Stockton’s board of trustees signed off on buying the property, but school bylaws require a 60-day due diligence period, and that prompted TJM to back out.

“Stockton University negotiated a very good deal to purchase the property, but the university needed far more time than we were willing to provide without any assurances,” TJM President Terence McCarthy said in November. “Our organization feels that Stockton University will bring great economic development to Atlantic City, therefore offered them a deal unlike any other, which unfortunately did not and will not happen.”

Boardwalk Boarded Up

The Atlantic Club is falling into disrepair. Parts of the hotel’s exterior have crumbled to the Boardwalk below. In 2017, the resort’s ceiling entrance came crashing down.

TJM says the Atlantic Club has a total of 1.5 million square feet of space, 800 hotel rooms, and 1,500 parking spaces. “TJM purchased it to resell it,” the property description states.

Developed by Steve Wynn, the Atlantic Club opened in 1980 as the Golden Nugget. It became a Rat Pack hangout in its heyday, with celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammie Davis Jr. just a few of the names to visit the resort.