Taj Mahal Casino Closing After 26 Years

In 1990, Donald Trump launched the $1 billion Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, billing it as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Trump ushered in the then-world’s largest casino resort with a performance by Michael Jackson and appearances by other A-list celebrities. But on Monday, Oct 10, the Taj Mahal will close its doors […]

trump-taj-mahal-casinoIn 1990, Donald Trump launched the $1 billion Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, billing it as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

Trump ushered in the then-world’s largest casino resort with a performance by Michael Jackson and appearances by other A-list celebrities.

But on Monday, Oct 10, the Taj Mahal will close its doors after 26 years in business. This marks the fifth Atlantic City Casino to shut down since 2014.

The casino has been struggling for the past three years, and this problem was accelerated when workers began striking in July.

Unionized workers were angry over having their healthcare benefits and pensions slashed. Billionaire Carl Icahn, who’d been financing the casino to keep it open, announced that it’ll close because he’s lost $100 million in the deal and doesn’t see the profitability in restoring worker benefits.

According to NJ.com, the shutdown officially happens on Oct. 10 at 5:59am, at which point slot dollars will have no more value and all casino operations will cease. The restaurants will also shut down, and over 3,000 workers will be out of a job.

trump-taj-mahal-strikeThe Taj Mahal was the premier destination in Atlantic City throughout the 1990s. However, the Borgata took over the top spot when it opened in 2003, and Taj Mahal began its rapid decline.

The Great Recession of 2008 certainly didn’t help matters, but Taj Mahal continued to survive into the mid-2010s. But with a declining Atlantic City economy and the recent worker strike, Icahn saw no reason to continue this losing bet.

Trump signed over all stakes in the Taj Mahal several years ago, at which point Trump Entertainment’s board assumed control. They too ran into bankruptcy troubles, and Icahn initially kept the Taj Mahal open with a $20 million investment.

A nasty court battle ensued when Icahn did away with worker benefits. Icahn ended up winning the court battle when the judge ruled that he didn’t have to pay health and pension benefits.

This led to the eventual strike, which was the final nail in the coffin for the Taj Mahal’s lengthy run.

 

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