Trump Taj Mahal Shuts Down One of Its Towers, Stops Issuing Credit to Players
Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal has shut down the Chairman’s Tower, one of the two towers of the casino resort, and is no longer issuing credit to players. In the last couple of weeks, the former showpiece of Donald Trump’s Atlantic City empire is going out with a whimper, and not a bang.
Gaming Floor Is Almost Vacant
Reports in the Daily News suggest the gaming floor is nearly vacant, as gamblers have either found other places to play or given up Atlantic City gaming altogether. Olivia Nuzzi of the Daily News reports the gaming tables are almost empty, while vagrants wander through slots row.
Trump Entertainment Resorts, which owns the Taj Mahal casino, filed papers last week extending its operating time until December 20. Those papers suggested that the gaming company might extends its closure to some later undetermined time.
New Jersey State Senate
The decision to delay closing is tied to 11th-hour legislation supported by Senate President Steve Sweeney and State Senator Whelan. If the bill passes, then Atlantic City casinos will see a reduction in their yearly state fees and taxes. The legislation also offers hopes of a set tax payment each year: $150 million a year for the first two years and $120 million a year for the next 13 years.
Under those circumstances, Trump Entertainment Resorts and its creditors would be able to better project profits and losses into the future. That might make it easier to receive loans to stay in business, while the lower taxes might mean the different in success or failure of the business.
The New Jersey State Senate wants to save Trump Taj Mahal, because its failure would be the fifth Atlantic City casino to close its doors this year. That would leave the city with only 7 casinos left.
Carl Icahn’s Role
No promises are being made, though. Carl Icahn had a plan in place to offer $100 million, if he gained full control and received concessions from Atlantic City and the casino’s workers union. Icahn appears willing to wait a while longer to see if the new law might make Trump Taj Mahal feasible. If not, then the doors will close on Dec. 20, or some time shortly after that date.
Meanwhile, local players and tourists are beginning to stay away from the operation. No business can continue under such circumstances, so a definite plan is needed either for closing the doors or not. The next two weeks will be the pivotal time.
Tony, a great-grandmother from Gloucester County, said that resident gamblers are at a loss, especially those who have been loyal customers to the Trump Entertainment Resorts line of casinos. She said, “It’s just terrible what’s happening. We used to go to Trump Plaza, and then they shut that down, so we started coming here. Now we don’t know where we’ll go.”
Donald Trump Discusses Atlantic City
Donald Trump gave comments on the impending closure of a casino that bears his name. He wants it know he is no longer a decision maker, and he stopped being interested in Atlantic City years ago. Trump says he hasn’t been in Atlantic City since 2007 and isn’t planning to return there anytime soon.
Donald Trump added, “I made a lot of money in Atlantic City. I hope you can say in your article that Mr. Trump sold out a long time ago and did well. I made a lot of money.”
Trump was reflective on the ending of his ambitious project on the Boardwalk. He added, “It’s so sad to see what’s happened. I left years ago. I got extremely lucky. My timing was extremely good—through talent or luck, I’m not sure.”
Trump’s Public Relations
Part of his comments were public relations. When Donald Trump stepped down as CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009, it was part of a takeover by the current executive team. Trump was forced out amidst a third bankruptcy in the middle of the Global Recession.
He received a 10% share of the company for it to use his name in perpetuity. When it appeared that Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal were having grave troubles back in August 2014, Trump sued to have his name taken off the properties. He also used the opportunity to take shots in the media against his former boardroom adversaries.
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