After losing its New Jersey casino licence in December last year, Tropicana Entertainment has been forced to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Chapter 11 filing marks one of the largest bankruptcies so far this year, and analysts have said it highlights a decline in the fortunes of some US casino operators in the face of a far-reaching economic slowdown.

In December, New Jersey state regulators deemed the company unable to properly operate a "first-class casino operation" at its Atlantic City casino due to severe layoffs and poor performance.

This triggered a series of financing crises and defaults that culminated in the Chapter 11 filing in the US Bankruptcy Court, Delaware.

The casino is now being offered to potential buyers as required by state law, and a new owner could be selected within a few weeks.

Tropicana said it plans to continue operating and will keep current staffing levels.