More bleak news for Atlantic City. The Trump Taj Mahal is expected to close in November, which would mean that five of the city’s 12 casinos shut down this year.
Trump Entertainment Resorts, which had previously announced that Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino would close this month, said Tuesday that the second Trump-branded casino in Atlantic City is likely to close two months later.
Barring any “significant expense reductions, the Trump Taj Mahal is expected to close on or shortly after November 13, 2014,” the company said in a statement e-mailed to The Washington Post on Tuesday morning.
In addition, Trump Entertainment Resorts said it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Wilmington, Del. The company last filed for bankruptcy in 2009, emerging from bankruptcy the following year after eliminating debt and announcing an injection of fresh equity.
The company had announced in July that Trump Plaza, a hotel at the center of Atlantic City’s boardwalk, would close in September. That appears to be on track, as the company still expects Trump Plaza to close next week. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement approved the casino’s request to close.
This is the latest blow for Atlantic City, the onetime gambling hub that is experiencing financial decay up and down the boardwalk. The city’s casino revenue has plummeted in recent years as casinos in other states in the Northeast opened. As revenue fell, casinos began to shut their doors, costing thousands of people their jobs and leading to this rather remarkable fact: At the beginning of the year, Atlantic City was home to a dozen casinos. By Thanksgiving, that number could be cut nearly in a half.
Revel, the highly-touted and financially-troubled $2.4 billion resort casino, was the most recent casualty. Revel closed up shop last week, a day after the Showboat casino was shut down. The loss of Revel was particularly bleak, as the venue was billed as “a turning point for Atlantic City” by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and was expected to help revitalize the city.
The problems boiled down to money, of course. Revel posted a loss of $46 million during the first six months of the year. Trump Taj Mahal had a loss of $1.3 million, significantly down from $12.6 million in operating profits during the same period last year; Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino reported a loss of $7.4 million during the first six months of the year, much more than the $1.2 million in losses during the first six months of 2013.
Donald Trump, whose name adorns the company that declared bankruptcy as well as two closing casinos, has filed a lawsuit seeking to get his name removed from the casinos. He argued, in part, that the closing of Trump Plaza could damage “the Trump name and brand.” (Not long after Trump Plaza opened in 1984, during another court suit involving the name of the venue, Trump also argued about “the value that exists in my name.”) Trump Entertainment Resorts only owns and operates the two casinos in Atlantic City.