Billionaire Carl Icahn received approval for his New Jersey state gaming license on Thursday. It took only 15 minutes for the Casino Control Commission to make its decision.
Icahn owns 73 percent of the Sands Casino Hotel on the Boardwalk and the adjacent Madison House hotel, which is being remodeled.
Development of the Sands is ongoing, and speculation is rife about the outcome.
Sands President Alfred Luciani said the company expects to present its final plans to the commission within the month.
Trop expansion wins round
The Atlantic City Zoning Board last week approved a planned $225 million expansion at the Tropicana despite opposition from neighboring condominium owners.
The proposed expansion will rest on three and a half acres near the Boardwalk and beach and encompass 502 new hotel rooms. It will include what Tropicana executives call The Quarter, a 200,000-square-foot facility combining shopping, restaurants and entertainment.
It is estimated that the expansion will boost the local economy by creating 2,000 permanent jobs and generating millions in taxes for the city and state. The state will get an estimated $26 million in additional tax revenues. The city will get $9 million. Another $2 million will go to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, an agency that invests an 8.25 percent tax on casino winnings in a variety of projects and programs statewide.
The expansion now goes to City Council. If approved, construction will take 22 months to complete, according to the Tropicana. Opening is scheduled for the spring of 2003.