The house doesn’t always win. The Trump Taj Mahal casino in embattled Atlantic City will close after Labor Day, the owners announced Wednesday.
Billionaire Carl Icahn’s Tropicana Entertainment, which officially took control of the casino earlier this year, blamed labor union Unite Here Local 54 for the closure, claiming it blocked a “path to profitability.” The casino, developed by Donald Trump in the late 1990s, employed 2,100 people at the end of 2015. About 1,000 employees had been on strike since July 1 after Icahn attempted to cut healthcare and pension benefits.
Local 54’s president fired back at Tropicana. “For a few million bucks, (Carl Icahn) could have had labor peace and a content workforce, but instead he’d rather slam the door shut on these long-term workers just to punish them and attempt to break their strike,” he said in a statement, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
The casino came close to shuttering before, in late 2014, but at the time Trump Entertainment Resorts managed to land a $20 million loan from Carl Icahn. Following its bankruptcy, Trump Entertainment Resorts became a subsidiary of Icahn Enterprises this February and Trump lost his remaining 10 percent stake in the casino.
The Trump Taj Mahal would be Atlantic City’s fifth casino to close since 2014, exacerbating the resort city’s economic crisis. [Press of Atlantic City] — Konrad Putzier