Atlantic City Gambling Boss Alleges Threats, Illegal Activity from Pennsylvania Developer

Bart Blatstein, the Philadelphia developer behind Tower Investments LLC, recently lost his bid to build a second casino in the city, and cried foul when the casino license was awarded to the operators behind the Live! project.

Blatstein claimed that the license would create an overlap of ownership between Philly’s Parx Casino and the Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment and Cordish Cos. joint venture. The well-known developer filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court claiming that the decision broke state gaming law, but later withdrew it.

Blatstein told the media that he would instead focus on Tower’s Pier Shops property in Atlantic City, and would reveal his plans for the project soon. But the announcement, scheduled for last Tuesday, never came, as Kevin Ortzman, president of Caesars and Bally’s Atlantic Cityaccused Tower Investments of acting “illegally as trespassers” at Pier Shops.

In court documents, Ortzman stated that Blatstein had no right to “occupy, or assert dominion or control over the property.” He added that Tower Investments had not made the necessary payments to Caesars for the right to develop the property.

Ortzman claims that after informing Blatstein that he was using the property illegally, the developer hit back, saying, “you can’t win and I can’t lose.” He continued, saying that he would drag the issue out in court and suck all the money dry from the Pier, with Ortzman left with nothing.

According to the Caesars Atlantic City boss, Blatstein continued lobbing threats, promising to blast Ortzman in the media.

Blatstein had given some detail as to what he would do with the Pier Shops property, saying that it would be turned into a diverse set of businesses meant to attract young professionals. “It’s not going to be just a summer town or casinos,” he told the local media. “It’s going to be diverse, which is what everybody wants. There will be a lot of reasons for people to come down other than gambling.”