Friday, July 29, 2016

Trump Taj Mahal casino closing in Atlantic City - A bad bet

Donald Trump has been gone from Atlantic City for years, but his name has lived on in glowing neon on the facade of a casino he no longer owned. But later this year, the Republican presidential nominee’s name will disappear from the seaside gambling resort — along with 3,000 jobs.

The Trump Taj Mahal casino, opened 26 years ago by Trump, announced Wednesday that it will shut down after Labour Day. The business now belongs to Trump’s friend and fellow billionaire Carl Icahn, who decided he can no longer support a casino losing millions of dollars each month amid a crippling strike.
Icahn has lost nearly $100 million on the Taj Mahal in the past 18 months, including money he spent to keep it afloat during bankruptcy court before he even owned it. “It was a bad bet,” he said. “How much good money do you throw after bad?”

Atlantic City’s main casino workers union has been on strike against the Taj Mahal since July 1. On Thursday, the strike will become the longest by Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union in the city’s 38-year casino era, eclipsing the 34-day walkout it staged against seven casinos in 2004. The shutdown will reduce the number of casinos in Atlantic City to seven. The job losses will be in addition to 8,000 workers who became unemployed when four Atlantic City casinos closed in 2014.
Trump once owned three Atlantic City casinos, but cut most ties with the city by 2009. Having lost ownership of the company to bondholders in a previous bankruptcy, Trump resigned as chairman of Trump Entertainment Resorts, retaining a 10 per cent stake in return for the use of his name.
That interest was wiped out in bankruptcy court when Icahn took over in March.