Trump Entertainment Files Chapter 11: Trump Plaza Set To Close, Taj Mahal Most Likely Next

Another casino closing in Atlantic City? It’s just about a certainty.

Nj.com is reporting that Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Trump Entertainment, the parent company to both Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and Trump Taj Mahal, listed assets and liabilities of as much as $500 million each in a Chapter 11 filing today in Wilmington, Delaware. Trump Plaza is set to cease operations on September 16. The Trump Taj Mahal may also shut in November, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that five of the 12 remaining casinos in Atlantic City will most likely be shut down by Thanksgiving of this year, beginning with the shutdown of Atlantic Club Casino by then-owner Colony Capital LLC in January. The property has since been sold. Caesar Entertainment Corporations’ Showboat closed at the end of last month.

The most high-profile casino failure in Atlantic City came a week ago, when the $2 billion, high-end Revel Casino Hotel closed after two bankruptcy filings and a little more than two years in operation. The Revel Entertainment Group LLC casino received a $261 million state tax credit to help finish construction after financing dried up, as well as push by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to reinvigorate the slumping seaside resort.

For the Taj Mahal, it’s simple; if the casino can get some relief in the form of union concessions from Unite Here Local 54, the casino will burn through what little capital is remaining and close. Talks are ongoing, but have hit an snag. If the Taj Mahal does indeed close, Atlantic City will have lost about 6,000 jobs.

Another issue facing Trump Entertainment is the namesake, Donald Trump himself. Trump has filed court papers asking that his name be removed from the properties since the current state of affairs could have a negative impact on the Trump name and brand. Mr. Trump’s papers also claim he has no vested interest in either of the casinos. Trump reportedly hasn’t had any interest for about 7 years now.

“Mr. Trump brilliantly left Atlantic City more than seven years ago and has not been back. Mr. Trump has absolutely nothing to do with Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc.,” Michael Cohen, a lawyer for the real-estate mogul, said in a prepared statement.

This is not the first foray into a bankruptcy court for the Trump Casinos. The casinos filed for bankruptcy back in 2009, but emerged a year later having eradicated all of its debts and with a new influx of equity. It looks like that was for naught, and nothing can stop the inevitable closing sure to come.

{Image courtesy of valuewalk.com}