Eldorado applies to buy Casino Aztar

Several months after announcing an intention to buy Casino Aztar, a company has applied to get an Indiana casino license.

Eldorado LLC, a Reno, Nev., company, submitted the application Friday, according to Jenny Arnold, the deputy director of the Indiana Gaming Commission. In April, Eldorado announced it would pay as much as USD 245 million for Casino Aztar, which is now owned by Tropicana Entertainment.

Arnold said the application contains general information about Eldorado and about its principal members. State officials will now investigate whether they may obtain a casino license under Indiana statutes.

According to the law, a company must be of good “financial integrity” before it can get a casino license. The principal members will have be investigated to see if they have a criminal record. They must be persons of honesty and integrity, and have no associations with “anyone deemed unsavory,” Arnold said.

In the past, gaming officials had hoped to vote on Eldorado’s application for a casino license at a meeting tentatively set for Aug. 28. But because of the amount of time needed to investigate the company, Arnold doubted that schedule could be kept.

Even so, she noted that Eldorado is a long-established company that has obtained casino licenses in other states. Those attributes weigh in its favor, she said.

“Eldorado does appear to enjoy a very good reputation in the jurisdictions in which it operates,” Arnold said. “And, typically, that’s an indication that an investigation will not be problematic.”

Along with the application, Eldorado paid a USD 50,000 fee needed to obtain a casino license.

In December, Tropicana Entertainment said it would sell Casino Aztar. That announcement came in response to the New Jersey gaming officials’ decision to revoke Tropicana’s license to run the Tropicana Casino in New Jersey.

Although the sale was intended to help the company avoid money troubles, Tropicana nevertheless declared bankruptcy in May.

The declaration makes it more difficult for Eldorado to buy Casino Aztar because any purchase will now have be approved by a bankruptcy court in Delaware.