Donald Trump Says Upstate New York Casinos Would Fail in Tougher Market

Donald Trump told the New York Daily News that any upstate casinos which receive licenses this fall will “go down the tubes“. Trump knows something about failed casinos, because his former Atlantic City properties, Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal, have failed in 2014. The Trump Plaza closed in September and the Trump Taj Mahal will close in November.

The famous real estate developer and reality TV star says the new casinos will generate excitement in the short term. He says they’ll generate revenue for a time, as well. Ultimately, they will fail in the long term, because the upstate gaming venues won’t be well-placed to compete in an increasingly saturated gaming industry.

US Casino Market Is Filled

The former casino mogul told reporters that the issues go beyond the northeast, which is especially saturated. Casino gambling in America is now in 40 states, so the gambling destinations face shrinking potential areas from which they are likely to find customers. Trump said, “Ultimately, there’s too much competition and they’ll all go down the tubes. The problem is the whole country is becoming one big gambling casino, and many of them will die.

Pennsylvania Gambling

A generation ago, gamblers in Pennsylvania might have chosen to gamble in the upstate New York casinos, instead of in Atlantic City–the only possible competition at the time. These days, gamblers in Pennsylvania simply stay in-state to play.

New York Casino Tourists

One might think the upstate casinos would attract gamblers from New York City, whether it’s residents looking for a weekend getaway or domestic and international tourists. If one or more casinos are placed in Orange County, though, that would wall-off the flow of traffic upstate. No tourists or New Yorkers would have reason to travel beyond 50 miles from the city to gamble. Players could stay in New York City hotels, while taking day trips to the Orange County gaming complex for their gaming needs.

Though he tweeted his willingness to take control of the Trump Taj Mahal’s operations a few weeks back, Donald Trump said this week he has not interest in rescuing the Atlantic City casino industry. His Twitter post appears to have been mainly to take a shot at the men who forced him from control of Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009–mainly activist investor Carl Icahn. Trump has been critical of those who managed his former properties in Atlantic City.

Casino City Chief Speaks

Vin Narayanan, the editor-in-chief of Casino City, says that the upstate casinos cannot compete as big integrated resorts, like one would in a population center. Such gaming locations can be successful, with the right cost structure and marketing plan. If the plan is well-executed, Narayanan believes such casinos will survive, even in the current climate.

Narayanan said, “You really don’t know how many is too many until you build them, but there is a market for it. There’s a reason why they keep being built–because people keep going to them.

Donald Trump’s Casino Legacy

In many ways, Donald Trump has been trying to escape his casino gambling past in 2014. Trump is interested in becoming the next owner of the Buffalo Bills NFL franchise. As the NFL’s lawsuit against New Jersey over its sports betting laws show, the National Football League and other top US sports make special efforts to avoid affiliation with casinos and gambling in general. Trump has been trying to distance himself as much from possible from his past, though he has actually sued the NFL before (as an owner in the now-defunct USFL).

One reason Donald Trump may have sued to get his name off the Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal was a desire to distance from his Atlantic City past. Those properties were bankrupt, so it’s possible Trump might have been suing to get out of any possible financial liability he might possess as 10% owner of those casino properties. Trump Plaza closed its doors for good on September 16, 2014. Trump Taj Mahal will close its doors on November 13.



About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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