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ATLANTIC CITY-Tropicana Entertainment, owner of the Tropicana Casino here, which had its license taken away by the state’s Casino Control Commission in 2007 for various violations, has submitted a bankruptcy reorganization plan that would break off its Las Vegas casino as a separate company. An ownership change had been a contingency for getting the Tropicana Atlantic City’s license back, and a court-appointed conservator has been overseeing the potential sale, actively negotiating with the Baltimore-based Cordish Co. and others, over the objections of its current ownership.

“The plans will restore the company’s financial viability, maximize the opportunity to regain control of casino operations in New Jersey, continue rebuilding infrastructure compromised prior to the start of the restructuring and produce value-enhancing returns for future equity owners,” says Trop president and CEO Scott Butera, in a statement.

Tropicana Entertainment had filed for Chapter 11 protection in US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware in May, listing assets of $2.8 billion and liabilities of $3.3 billion. The company has since been trying to restructure part of the $3 billion debt load, which largely traces to its $2.1 billion buyout of Aztar Corp. in 2007. The financial problems kicked in after the company lost its license to operate the Atlantic City property.

In its latest filing, Tropicana proposes to create a company called OpCo to own and operate the local casino/hotel and nine other properties across the country. A second company called LandCo would own and operate the Las Vegas casino/hotel.

Also, William Yung III, under whose leadership the Atlantic City property faltered, would have no equity in either company. He stepped down as an officer of the Crestview Hills, KY-based Columbia Sussex in June and signed away his right to control it, though he still owns it.

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