hile his company no longer operates the casino that bears its name, Butera is spearheading an effort to regain control of the troubled property. "’I’d like nothing more than to come back,” he said during a meeting of The Press of Atlantic City’s editorial board. Former casino owner Columbia Sussex and its Tropicana Entertainment affiliate was denied a gaming license in December 2007 by the state Casino Control Commission, which ruled Columbia Sussex failed to comply with regulatory requirements under chief executive William J. Yung III.
The state appointed a conservator - Gary S. Stein, a former New Jersey Supreme Court justice- to oversee the sale of the Tropicana to a bidder, a process that has stalled during this down economy.
Meanwhile, Tropicana Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May and created an agreement with Yung that essentially prohibits him from exercising any power, although he still holds an equity stake. Butera, who took over as CEO in June, said upon emerging from bankruptcy, Yung will no longer have ties to the company.
Currently, Tropicana is trying to rebrand its image under Butera’s watch. The company has also petitioned the Casino Control Commission to give it back operating control of the Atlantic City casino since no new owner has been identified. No date has been set for that hearing, Butera said.