Billionaire Carl Icahn will close the Trump Taj Mahal resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, citing ongoing labor strife 18 months after acquiring the one-time flagship of Donald Trump’s casino empire in bankruptcy court.
The casino, once the top-grossing property in Atlantic City, will shut down after Labor Day, according to a statement Wednesday by Tony Rodio, chief executive officer of Tropicana Entertainment Inc., an Icahn-controlled company that manages the casino on behalf of owner Icahn Enterprises LP. The resort has been the subject of a summer-long strike led by Unite Here, a union that represents casino workers.
Icahn Enterprises “to date has lost almost $100 million trying to save the Taj when no other party, including the prior equity owners who put it into its recent bankruptcy, was willing to invest even one dollar to save it,” Rodio said in the statement. “Currently the Taj is losing multimillions a month, and now with this strike, we see no path to profitability.”
The Taj is poised to become the fifth of 12 casinos to close in Atlantic City over the past two years. Once the second-largest gambling market in the U.S. after Las Vegas, Atlantic City has been battered by competition from new casinos in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland.
The Taj Mahal is the last casino operating under the Trump name in the city, where the developer and Republican presidential nominee once operated three properties. Remaining operators in Atlantic City include Caesars Entertainment Corp. and MGM Resorts International, as well as privately-owned casinos.
“I would never have thought Carl Icahn was so one-dimensional,” Bob McDevitt, president of Unite Here local 54, said in a statement. “For a few million bucks he 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.”