The Tropicana Casino & Resort's parent said Thursday that it might file for bankruptcy protection to prevent defaulting on its loan the day after the casino was denied a new license. On Wednesday, a state-appointed trustee took over the operations of the Tropicana after the New Jersey Casino Control Commission voted, 4-1, to deny owner Columbia-Sussex Corp. a license renewal. The Tropicana's denial is only the second failed license bid in gambling's 29-year history in Atlantic City. In addition, the casino was fined $750,000 for failing to have an independent audit committee as required by law to act as the casino's internal watchdog. The commission said Columbia-Sussex and its chief executive officer, William J. Yung III, had failed to meet the state's strict operating standards for financial responsibility, character and integrity. Officials said former New Jersey State Supreme Court Justice Gary Stein would be the effective chief executive of the casino until a buyer could assume control. See:

Merck voluntarily recalls possibly tainted child vaccine

Merck & Co. Inc. announced that it was voluntarily withdrawing 1.2 million doses of a common childhood vaccine because of fears that it might be contaminated with bacteria. Federal officials stressed that the recall was precautionary and that they had not found any cases of contaminated vaccine. Nor have they found any unusual cases of infection from the disease the vaccine stops, Haemophilus influenzae Type B or HIB, which can cause meningitis and pneumonia. But the company did find contamination on equipment in October, resulting in the voluntary recall. Experts now are bracing for a shortage of vaccine in the months ahead. See:

Fed cuts rate a 3d time; Wall St. reacts negatively

The Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark lending rate one-quarter of a percentage point Tuesday, which helped consumers, but sent stocks plunging because Wall Street had been hoping for more. The Fed's quarter-point cut in the federal funds rate - which banks charge one another for overnight loans - dropped it to 4.25 percent. Commercial banks quickly matched the move by lowering their prime rate, which they charge their best customers, one-quarter of a percentage point, to 7.25 percent. The Fed's third consecutive rate cut in recent months was welcome, but many on Wall Street were disappointed that the Fed did not also sharply lower the discount rate that it charges private banks for short-term loans. The Fed did cut that rate one-quarter of a percentage point. See:

N.J. ruling upsets doctor-owned centers

A recent court decision that doctors who own an outpatient-surgery center in North Jersey were in violation of an old, but unenforced, state law prohibiting self-referrals has lawyers scrambling to protect the alternative to hospital treatment. "Ultimately, we're going to need a legislative fix," said Mark Manigan, a partner in Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen L.L.P.'s health-care practice. See:

Coming tomorrow

Rents for commercial space in Center City are cheaper than they used to be.

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