June 11, 2008

Tropicana Entertainment Holdings LLC has begun restructuring following its recent chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. The company formed a new, five-member board of directors and named a new CEO. Company president Scott C. Butera is the new CEO, while former CEO William J. Yung remains on the board. The other three board members are outside directors: merchant banker Thomas M. Benninger, former Metro Goldwyn Mayer CFO Michael G. Corrigan, and former New Jersey Casino Control Commission chairman and CEO Bradford S. Smith. According to the company, the board will consider moving Tropicana Entertainment's headquarters to Las Vegas.

Australian gaming and hotel company Crown, led by billionaire James Packer, has shelved development plans for a hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The company announced plans last year for a US$45 billion, 5,000-room hotel complex, but "recent upheavals in world credit markets" has led Crown to focus instead on properties in Australia and Macau, according to a company executive.

The company that owns the 696-room Hooters Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, 155 East Tropicana, has terminated a purchase agreement with Hedwigs Las Vegas Top Tier. Hedwigs previously made an offer to purchase 155 East Tropicana's assets, and already had invested several million in nonrefundable deposits, but last week missed a payment deadline. The missed payment automatically cancels the agreement, according to the current property owners. The board of 155 East Tropicana will consider strategic alternatives in the coming months.