New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) has approved Showboat Atlantic City’s request to divide its Boardwalk property into new lots of records. In October, Showboat owner Bart Blatstein filed a subdivision request with the CRDA for approval, where he claimed that it was sought to accomplish future conveying and financing of improvements.
As a result, the CRDA had no hesitations in signing off on the new parcels. The law firm stated that there could be a range of reasons behind the want or need to redefine the property. Still, in most recorded cases, owners decide to rezone the property for residential purposes.
On August 31, 2014, the last slot machine or table game bet placed inside the Showboat came on for the last time. By the end of 2014, the Showboat was sold to Stockton University for $18 million, and the school planned to turn the building into student housing. According to Casino.org, the billionaire Carl Icahn, successfully used a legal covenant dating back to 1988 that says the property can only be used as a “first-class casino resort.”
Stockton sold the Showboat to Blatstein in January 2016 for $23 million, where the property reopened as a non-gaming hotel that summer. Blatstein owns both residential and commercial properties, but no casinos. He gained a “certificate of compliance” from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (CCC) in March.
Showboat, Taj, and Resorts reached a covenant in the 1988 covenant. In 2016, the agreement was ended after Icahn agreed to allow Blatstein to operate the property as a hotel. When Caesars sold the resort, it placed a restriction preventing it from reopening as a casino.
The Bloom Sluggett law firm in Michigan explains, “Once a deed restriction is properly recorded, it remains in the ‘chain of title’ for the property involved forever (or until the time limit specified in the deed restriction), regardless of whether or not later deeds to the property mention or reference the deed restriction.”
According to the legal experts, deed restrictions can, in some cases, lie dormant and unknown for years regarding one or more properties, but could potentially still be enforceable. Currently, the 3.1-acre outdoor plot is filled with beach volleyball courts. To possibly avoid the casino deed restriction, Blatstein has floated the idea of building a standalone casino.