While the Trump Taj Mahal Casino has been the highest grossing casino in Atlantic City for more than two decades, it has been badly hit by difficult times, especially after the Borgata opened in 2013. Billionaire Carl Icahn bought the casino two years ago and after investing $100 million on it, the casino is scheduled to shut down this October.
The Trump Taj Mahal was opened by Donald Trump in 1990. Although it still bears the name of the US Republican presidential candidate, the business now belongs to his friend and fellow billionaire, Carl Icahn. Icahn told the Associated Press that he lost close to $100 million on the Taj Mahal in the last 18 months. This includes cost on keeping the business afloat during bankruptcy court before even owning the place. He said he can no longer support a casino that is losing millions every month.
"It was a bad bet," he said. "How much good money do you throw after bad?"
Icahn closed the poker room last year and reopened it three months ago. While its reopening created some fanfare, the cost of refurbishments and promotions failed to bring in the punters, placing the Taj Mahal as the latest casualty in the once booming casino business in Atlantic City.
The shutdown reduces the number of casinos operating in Atlantic City down to seven. The number of job losses from the shutdown will be around 3,000; this in addition to 8,000 workers who lost employment when four other casinos closed in 2014.
The loss in revenue was mostly due to the explosion of casinos and poker rooms elsewhere. Whereas Atlantic City once monopolized casinos within the region, easing restrictions in other areas of the country meant that the draw towards Atlantic City has been taken away, including potential revenues of its casinos.