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Billionaire Says Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal Will 'Almost Certainly Close'

Icahn Reportedly Unhappy With Progress Of Talks To Keep Casino Afloat

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Though it likely won’t close next month, the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City will “almost certainly” be closing this year, said billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who was flirting with the idea of injecting $100 million into the floundering property if certain stipulations were met.

Icahn, who also owns the Tropicana, owns a huge amount of the casino’s current debt.

According to the Associated Press, Icahn put a lot of the blame on the union, which is trying to secure a reasonable existence for casino employees. Icahn and the casino want employees to work without having health care. Earlier this month, a federal judge voided the casino’s contract with a local union.

Trump Entertainment, the Trump Taj Mahal’s parent company, claims shedding the union contract saves it $14.6 million a year. Trump Entertainment closed the Trump Plaza in September.

The firm is also caught up in a dispute with Donald Trump, who wants his name off the Trump Taj Mahal. Donald reportedly still has a small stake in Trump Entertainment.

The casino and Icahn have also been hoping to siphon off $175 million in taxpayer money to pump into the business. Some government officials have rejected the aid demands.

Icahn has said he needs the government aid and the shedding of the union contract to take control of the Trump Taj Mahal and invest a nine-figure sum into the casino.

However, he told the AP that not getting what he wants might be a blessing in disguise.

“Frankly, several of my advisers have told me that if the city and the state did not come up with the money, they’d be doing me a large favor,” Icahn said. “Even if we get the concessions from the city and the state, we’re going to lose a lot of money. Everybody thinks I’m trying very hard to do this. I’m not.” He added that he wishes he never even considered doing this.

When the Taj goes down, Atlantic City will have just seven casinos by 2015. The seaside town, once the gambling hub of the Northeast, started the year with 12 brick-and-mortar casinos.

The Taj has been featured in a number of movies, including the poker cult classic Rounders, in which stars Matt Damon and Edward Norton play a session in the casino’s poker room. With 48 tables, the room is the second largest in Atlantic City behind the Borgata.

After the closing of the Taj, just five poker rooms will remain in Atlantic City.

 
 
 
 

Comments

keeentd
over 4 years ago

Wow what a piece of liberal trash. Nobody is asking anybody to work without insurance, simply to pay their fair share of the cost. "Aid demands"? It is quite common for developers in any industry to ask for economic development funds from state, city and local governments. The fact that 5 casinos are closing this year alone speaks to the unions' "siphoning off" far too much money from these businesses over the years through one-sided contracts. Clearly these contracts are not feasible given the current economics of AC, hence the judge's cancelling these contracts. Try writing something, I don't know, balanced on here rather than posting more liberal socialist drivel.

 
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clunker
over 4 years ago

Mr Icahn is a multi billionaire. He did not get there by treating people fairly or paying them their fair worth. I don,t understand where you come up with this socialist liberal hogwash just because people don,t want to be screwed by some rich asshole who has more money then all of these people combined and wants to become richer at their expense and the expense of the tax payers of NJ. Hr Ichan got rich by screwing every person who ever worked for any company he ever owned. That's what corporate raiders[ or to put it in a gentler easier to take words of today activist investor]do. He is not a capitalist he is a destroyer of human beings just so he can get richer. And yes he is asking them to work without insurance since that is actually a part of the pay for the jobs they do.

 
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rmcjacket23
over 4 years ago

And that's great and all... except the casinos in AC aren't making any profits, regardless of whether they have union contracts or not.

So if I were your average casino worker, I've got two choices...

1. Agree to work at the casino for lower than what I want wages, pay for my own healthcare, etc.

2. I refuse, the casino closes, and I'm unemployed.

I'll let you decide which one is better. And remember... we are talking about run-of-the-mill casino employees. Not your typical highly-educated, highly-skilled labor workers. Not like they have a ton of employment opportunities lined up waiting for them. Frankly, based on what I've seen from the education and skill levels of many Americans today, they should be BLESSED to be offered a minimum wage job with low responsibility.

 
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TandG21
over 4 years ago

rmcjacket 23
you must be an idiot and maybe one day you will have to decide how to eat and care for your family. you must be a scab, gloating on mishaps of the employees @ the Taj. As for myself as an retired teamster I will boycott the place

 
 

treagan7
over 4 years ago

Unions, in their current form, are obsolete. It's just that some people don't want to believe it yet.

 
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