Carl Icahn wasn’t joking about closing the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City.
Icahn will be chalking up the “investment” as a $100 million loss.
Thousands of jobs will be lost and the livelihoods of many families will be thrust into jeopardy.
Members of the Unite Here Local 54 union walked off the job on July 1 in protest of health and pension benefits. Following a month of much picketing but little negotiating, Icahn announced his plans to shutter the property this fall.
There was some hope that the two sides could come together and avoid Atlantic City’s fifth casino closure since 2014. But on September 2, Icahn made his move official.
In newly released paperwork from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), Icahn’s company states, “As a result of the ongoing Local 54 strike and the millions of dollars that it has cost the Taj Mahal, Trump Entertainment Resorts (TER) no longer sees a path to profitability.”
DGE regulations require casinos to detail their closing plans. Owners must explain how unused liquor will be discarded or sold, and whether the gambling machines will be transferred to a new casino or be stored elsewhere.
Casino chips must also be properly disposed.
The Trump Taj Mahal will continue accepting arrival reservations until Saturday, October 8. All guests must checkout of the hotel by 12 noon the following day.
The casino and resort will formally close at 5:59 am on Monday, October 10.
Taj Gift cards, credit, comp dollars, vouchers, and other promotional offers will all be rendered null and void on October 10.
The Trump Taj Mahal was built in 1990 at a cost of $1 billion. Billed by Donald Trump as the “eighth wonder of the world,” the now-GOP presidential candidate sold his Atlantic City interests in 2009 amid his casino company’s bankruptcy and restructuring.
Trump sold TER to a hedge fund in 2009. After TER once again fell into bankruptcy, Icahn purchased the gaming and hospitality company in 2016.
A bankruptcy court permitted Icahn to cancel certain benefits for Taj workers when he purchased the bankrupt casino resort in March. He told the union that he needed more time before restoring benefits to their previous levels.
In addition to the restoration of their medical and pension benefits, Local 54 striking bartenders, wait staff, cooks, and housekeeping service members also demanded increased hourly wages.
Icahn said it wasn’t feasible. That angered union officials who pointed out that Icahn is worth tens of billions of dollars.
“For a few million bucks, he could have had labor peace and a content work force,” Unite Here Local 54 President Bob McDevitt said. “But instead he’d rather slam the door shut.”
Icahn says he stands to lose $100 million on the Trump Taj Mahal.
“McDevitt has proven over and over that he has no regard for the truth,” Icahn said in late August. “The best thing that could happen for Atlantic City would be for McDevitt to leave, and I’d happily buy him a one-way plane ticket and pay his moving costs.”