The management of Resorts International Hotel Inc. vowed today to "rebut each and every allegation and innuendo" that prompted the New Jersey attorney general to recommend Monday against granting the firm a permanent casino license.
In a blistering statement, Resorts International officials said they were appalled at the state's investigatory report on which Attorney General John J. Degnan based his recommendation.
That report and Degnan's opinion have been sent to the state Casino Control Commission, which has sole discretion over the granting of casino gambling licenses in New Jersey.
Resorts attorney Joel Sterns went before the casino commission today to respond to the charges raised by Degnan and his staff.
The panel agreed to move a scheduled hearing from Jan. 15 to Jan. 8. Commission spokesman Ben Borowsky said the panel decided that was the earliest it could handle the matter.
Resorts has been operating its lucrative Atlantic City casino since May 26 under a temporary state license, which expires Feb. 26. The company reported yesterday that, as of Nov. 30, it had taken in casino receipts totalling $119.3 million. Trading in the volatile resort stock was suspended Monday after the release of Degnan's report.
That report, the result of a lengthy probe by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, accused the firm of persistent dealing with "unsuitable" persons with criminal backgrounds or alleged ties to organized crime figures, including reputed crime financier Meyer Lansky.
Under state gambling laws, Resorts now has the burden of proving "by clear and convincing evidence" that it is qualified for a permanent license. If it fails to do so, Resorts must hand the reins of its casino over to a stateapproved conservator, who would run it for Resorts until a qualified buyer can be found.
"There is no question in our minds that we will win," said Resorts Vice President Stephen Norton Monday. "We can't lose."