The owner of the Atlantic Club, one of Atlantic City’s oldest shut casinos, has agreed to sell the property to a businessman with ties to the city.
Property documents filed with the county in January show that TJM, the Florida-based Atlantic Club owner, reached an agreement to sell the property to Jeffrey Smolinsky and his company, North American Acquisitions. TJM officials did not respond to a request for comment on Friday and Smolinsky could not be reached.
The Atlantic Club has been the topic of speculation for years. TJM paid $13.5 million for the site in 2014. One group of prospective buyers in 2017 wanted to turn the property into a water park, but they failed to come up with financing. Stockton University, which last year opened an Atlantic City campus just blocks from the Atlantic Club, was interested in the site for parking and potential expansion. A Stockton donor last year bought land behind the casino from TJM, but Stockton was unable to reach an agreement with the Floridian hotel company.
Smolinsky, the new buyer, is connected to Atlantic City investors including Atlantic City Football Club’s Andrew Weilgus, according to his page on the social-media site LinkedIn. (Weilgus said he only knows Smolinsky through LinkedIn). The page says Smolinsky is based in Malibu, California but his company, North American Acquisitions, has a Philadelphia business address. Smolinsky had a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and has managed a private investment portfolio for several decades, according to the website for a charitable foundation that has the same address as North American Acquisitions.
It is not clear whether Smolinsky has any relation to Josephy Smolinsky, a lawyer for Capital Gaming International, an Atlantic City company that ran floating casino riverboats. That company filed for bankruptcy in 1996.
TJM, which also owns the Atlantic City hotel The Claridge, has fallen behind on taxes on the property in previous years, even as it contributed more than $8,000 to the super PAC Our Atlantic City that helped elect Atlantic City mayor Frank Gilliam.