Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City

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Tropicana Casino & Resort
Tropicana Atlantic City Logo.jpg
The Tropicana.JPG
Location Atlantic City, New Jersey
Address 2831 Boardwalk
Opening date November 23, 1981; 35 years ago (November 23, 1981)
Theme Old Havana
No. of rooms 2,129[1]
Total gaming space 123,980 sq ft (11,518 m2)[2]
Signature attractions

The Quarter

Notable restaurants Carmine's
The Palm
Casino type Land-based
Owner Tropicana Entertainment
Operating license holder Tropicana Atlantic City Corp.
Previous names TropWorld Resort
Renovated in 1996, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2015
Coordinates Coordinates: 39°21′08″N 74°26′44″W / 39.3523°N 74.4456°W / 39.3523; -74.4456

The Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City is a luxury hotel, casino, and spa resort located on Brighton Avenue and the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It is owned by Tropicana Entertainment and is one of the largest hotels in New Jersey with just over 2,000 rooms. Tropicana has over 3,000 slot machines and 135 table games and also features The Quarter, a shopping mall located in the complex. In early 2013, the hotel completed a $50 million expansion and renovation, including a free multimedia light and sound show on its boardwalk facade.[3]

Ambassador Hotel history[edit]

The Ambassador Hotel, designed by Warren & Wetmore[4] was built in 1919, at a cost of $4 million.[5] It contained 400 rooms, and was soon expanded with a second tower adding another 400 rooms in 1921.[5]

On June 18, 1922, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his friend Harry Houdini met at the hotel,[6] for Doyle's spiritualist wife Anna to contact Houdini's late mother in a seance. Although Anna transcribed pages of notes allegedly from her, Houdini later revealed that his mother did not speak English, claimed Doyle's wife was a fraud, and ended his friendship with Conan Doyle.[7]

In 1929, the Ambassador was the site of the infamous Atlantic City Conference, in which a number of organized crime bosses, including Al Capone, Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano, negotiated their territorial rights after a wave of violence.[8]

In 1931, as Philadelphia gangster Mickey Duffy slept in the hotel, he was shot and killed by assailants who were never caught.[9] The incident was dramatized in the series Boardwalk Empire, with a character called Mieczyslaw "Mickey Doyle" Kuzik.

The hotel eventually closed in the 1970s.[5]

The Phoenix[edit]

In 1978, Ramada purchased the derelict Ambassador Hotel building for $35 million, planning to renovate the property and convert it at a further cost of $70 million into The Phoenix, a 549-room hotel and 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) casino with amenities including a 1,200-seat theater and a 1,000-seat ballroom. They planned an additional newly built 1000-room hotel adjacent, should The Phoenix be successful.[5]

Executives at Ramada were forced to alter their plans when their design was denied by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and Governor Brendan Byrne, as both did not want casino operators doing "patch and paint" jobs, instead they preferred the companies building new properties from the ground up. Ramada was ordered to demolish the former hotel and start from the ground up, but the company threatened to appeal the decision in court as Resorts International, the Claridge Casino and Caesars Boardwalk Regency had all been allowed to open in existing structures. Finally, an agreement was reached to only reuse the steel framework of the old Ambassador building and construction began in October 1979.[5]

Tropicana Casino history[edit]

Exterior of the hotel at Tropicana, 2016.

After Ramada bought the Tropicana Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip in December 1979 for $70 million, company officials decided to call their new East Coast property Tropicana Atlantic City, as the Tropicana name was already well known in the casino industry.[5] Tropicana Atlantic City officially opened on November 23, 1981, with 521 guest rooms and a large casino. In May 1985 a 1700-seat showroom was added with Wayne Newton serving as the opening act. Other acts have included Patti Labelle, Jay Leno, Dionne Warwick, The Smothers Brothers, Tom Jones and Tony Bennett.


In 1988 the property underwent an expansion with another tower being added as well as the addition of an indoor amusement center called Tivoli Pier. The resort was renamed TropWorld Casino and Entertainment Resort.[10]

In 1989, Ramada hotels split their gaming properties into the Aztar Corporation, and the new division focused much of its projects on the Atlantic City property, which led to the eventual sale of the Las Vegas Tropicana.

Original name change[edit]

Aztar constructed a new 604-room hotel tower as well as renovations to the existing rooms and casino space in 1995 and 1996. Tivoli Pier was closed during the casino expansions to make way for a new poker, keno and horse racing simulcast area. With the closing of the amusement area, the resort was renamed Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City.

Tropicana at night

Aztar then followed this expansion with another one in 2003 and 2004 that added a 502-room tower, a 2,400 space parking garage, 22,000 square feet (2,000 m2) of meeting and convention space, and The Quarter at Tropicana, a shopping mall designed in an old Havana theme. The goal of this project was to turn the Tropicana into an integrated casino resort reminiscent of the megaresorts built in Las Vegas during the 1990s, and also to compete with the Borgata, another Las Vegas megaresort-style casino opened in the city in 2003.

In May 2005, the Aztar Corporation was acquired by Columbia Sussex for $2.75 billion. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission granted Columbia Sussex an Interim Authorization to operate the resort on November 3, 2006. The acquisition concluded in January 2007 with the Aztar properties being merged into Columbia Sussex's gaming subsidiary, which was renamed Tropicana Entertainment LLC. In the first four months after the acquisition, Columbia Sussex reduced the number of employees at the Tropicana by 15 percent.[11]

On November 20, 2007, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission initiated hearings for the renewal of the casino license of Tropicana and whether its parent companies, Adamar of New Jersey and Columbia Sussex, were suitable to hold a casino license. On December 12, 2007, the Casino Control Commission denied the application of renewal for Tropicana. The commission cited the management's "abysmal" regulatory compliance as well as a "lack of business ability... financial responsibility... and a lack of good character, honesty, and integrity." The property was immediately placed under the control of a trustee, former New Jersey State Supreme Court Justice Gary Stein, until it could be sold. This was only the second time in twenty-nine years that the commission denied a license renewal.[12] Lawyers were expected to appeal.[12][13][14][15]

The bankruptcy sale of the Tropicana Casino and Resort to a group of creditors led by Carl Icahn was approved by a bankruptcy court on June 12, 2009. The acquisition exchanged $200 million of the property's mortgage for equity.[16] On August 26, 2009, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission approved Tropicana Entertainment as the property's new owner. The Commission stressed that the new owner is not the same company as the former owner, Tropicana Entertainment LLC. The decision enabled the property to operate under the same corporate umbrella as other Tropicana properties in Nevada, Mississippi, Louisiana and Indiana.[17] Tropicana Entertainment Inc. was granted a temporary casino license by the Commission on March 3, 2010.[18] The sale closed on March 8, 2010.[19]


Tropicana has three floors of gaming with slots, tables, a poker room, and an Asian gaming pit. The casino features about 3,000 slots, including progressive machines and video poker. Tropicana's table games include nearly 135 poker, blackjack, craps, and roulette games. Tropicana also hosts daily poker tournaments.

Online gaming[edit]

In 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) passed. The UIGEA drastically limited the ways that online gaming organizations are legally allowed to accept money.[20] This has stunted the growth of legal, tax-paying cyber gambling businesses. Although since 2013, Tropicana Casino & Resort of Atlantic City teamed up with Governor Chris Christie and Virgin Group, backed by Sir Richard Branson, to take on the online gambling laws. Together, the team was able to legalize cyber gambling within the state of New Jersey.[21] The law instates a 15% Internet gambling tax. New Jersey Senator Ray Lesniak said, "For our casinos and racetracks, it may be the difference between life and death. Both are dying industries."[22]


The Tropicana has 24 restaurants and eateries.

Fine dining[edit]

  • Golden Dynasty
  • Il Verdi
  • The Palm

Casual dining[edit]

  • A Dam Good Deli
  • A Dam Good Sports Bar
  • Boardwalk Favorites Ice Cream
  • Broadway Burger Bar
  • Casa Taco & Tequila Bar
  • Carmine's
  • Chickie's & Pete's Crabhouse and Sportsbar
  • Cuba Libre
  • Fiesta Buffet
  • GOYOGO Frozen Yogurt
  • Hooters
  • Marketplace Express
  • Mrs. Fields Cookies
  • Perry's Pizza
  • PF Chang's China Bistro
  • RiRa Irish Pub
  • Seaside Cafe
  • Starbucks
  • Tony Luke's
  • Zeytinia


Tropicana is home to a 2,000-seat showroom which hosts regular headliner acts and revue shows as well as an IMAX Theatre. In Spring of 2015, they added a free Multimedia Light and Sound Show on its boardwalk facade.


The Tropicana features a variety of nightlife and evening activities including:

  • 10 North Lounge
  • Anthem
  • A Dam Good Sports Bar
  • The Bar at FIN
  • Boogie Nights: The Ultimate 70s & 80s Dance Club
  • Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
  • Firewaters
  • Hooters
  • IMAX Theatre
  • Ivan Kane's Kiss Kiss Go-Go Bar
  • Missile Bar
  • Planet Rose Karaoke Bar
  • Providence Night Club
  • RiRa Irish Pub
  • Tango's Lounge
  • Wet Willie's Atlantic City

The Quarter[edit]

The Quarter

The Quarter at Tropicana is a dining, shopping and entertainment complex inside the Tropicana. The Quarter features nine restaurants, forty shops, ten bars and lounges, a spa and the city's only movie theater, an IMAX Theater.


A major controversy involving expansion of the resort occurred in 1995 when the Tropicana (then known as TropWorld), the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, and the city attempted to acquire adjacent land owned by Joseph Milano at 1 South Brighton Avenue for a surface parking lot using eminent domain.[23] A lawsuit was filed by Milano and his family in New Jersey Appeals Court (Milano v. Adamar of New Jersey d/b/a TropWorld Casino and Entertainment Resort, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, City of Atlantic City, et at.) to stop the use of eminent domain, a New Jersey appeals court agreed with the Milano family and issued a restraining order preventing TropWorld and the CRDA from proceeding. As of 2014, Joseph Milano and members of his family still live in the building which was built in 1897 and purchased by his father in 1935.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tropicana - Meetings - Conventions in Atlantic City". Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City - Atlantic City Hotels. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Tropicana unveils $35M renovation project for Atlantic City casino". 
  4. ^ "Beyond the Gilded Age". 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Empire Builders". Casino Connection Atlantic City. 
  6. ^ Dean Carnegie. "Carnegie: Magic Detective: 1922 Atlantic City Houdini & Conan Doyle". 
  7. ^ Christopher Sandford. "When Harry Met Arthur". Taki's Magazine. 
  8. ^ "OnSight: Glamour, Geeks & Gangsters: Some Pre-Casino Atlantic City History". 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "NEW JERSEY DAILY BRIEFING - Old Name Is New for Casino -". 5 July 1996. 
  11. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  12. ^ a b Commission rejects Tropicana Renewal License, New Jersey Casino Control Commission, retrieved December 12, 2007.
  13. ^ New Jersey Supreme Court, In Re: Adamar of New Jersey Video on YouTube
  14. ^ "Casino agency recommends renewing Tropicana license for only one year". Press of Atlantic City. 2007-12-04. Archived from the original on 2007-12-25. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  15. ^ "LICENSE REVOKED: Tropicana denied by N.J. panel". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2007-12-13. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  16. ^ "Icahn group buys AC Tropicana casino, 80 pct off". The San Francisco Chronicle. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Icahn-led group approved for Tropicana ownership", The Press of Atlantic City, August 26, 2009.
  18. ^ "Icahn wins approval for ownership of the Tropicana casino", The Press of Atlantic City, March 3, 2009.
  19. ^ "Icahn group takes ownership of Atlantic City's Tropicana casino", The Press of Atlantic City, March 8, 2010.
  20. ^ "Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006" (PDF). Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "An Exploration of Cyber Gambling Law". Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "New Jersey Out of Luck on Sports Bet Push". 1 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  23. ^ They'd Pave Paradise, TropWorld is Threatening To Tear Down A Man's Castle[permanent dead link] (New York Daily News August 20, 1995).

External links[edit]