Trump Taj Mahal Re-Investment Won't Happen If Casinos Allowed In North Jersey, Billionaire Says
Casino's New Owner Waiting On Results Of Likely November Referendum
This could be bad news for poker players hoping for a re-opening of the Trump Taj Mahal’s poker room.
Billionaire Carl Icahn told the Associated Press Wednesday that if Garden State lawmakers and state voters allow casinos in north Jersey he won’t be spending $100 million on upgrades and other enhancements to the Taj, which he recently acquired for less than $300 million thanks to the casino’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The Taj closed its poker room early last year and hasn’t yet re-opened it. It had originally planned to re-open the storied room last summer. With 48 tables, the Taj’s poker room was once the second largest in the city behind the Borgata.
“Although I had planned to invest up to $100 million in the Taj, just as I made substantial investments at the Tropicana, obviously it would not be judicious to proceed with those investments while gaming in north Jersey is an open issue, and we will have to wait to see the outcome of those proposals,” Icahn told the AP.
Icahn did say he will pump between $10 million and $20 million into the casino for maintenance purposes regardless of the north Jersey casino decision.
At this point, a November referendum on allowing casinos outside of Atlantic City seems like a foregone conclusion. Atlantic City currently has eight casinos, but more are expected to close if north Jersey gets Las Vegas-style casino gambling.
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