After 26 years, the once an east coast poker hotspot, The Trump Taj Mahal, is now closting its doors.
In 1983, Resorts International founded the casino after which it became an Atlantic City icon. In 1987 current presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would complete construction within a year after buying a controlling stake in the company, as the project was financially struggling.
The casino opened after years of financing issues, on April 2, 1990. The Las Vegas of the east, Atlantic City, had at the time a booming casino industry. However, in recent years many casinos had to close down because of the declining tourism in New Jersey town.
Instead of investing more money into a struggling casino, current owner Carl Icahn decided to close up to shop after suffering through years of losses. Due to the casino’s closure, more than 3.000 people will be out of jobs.
He was left with no choice but to shut it down, after the casino’s union workers and his company Trump Entertainment Resorts was unable to strike a deal. Since July over 1,000 employees of the union had been on strike.
The union did not accept a new offer in which health insurance benefits were offered by Icahn. He wasn’t prepared to keep everyone happy and the casino open, as he had to invest an additional nine-figure investment.
Presence of Trump’s Casino
After opening in 1990, Trump referred to the casino as the “eight wonder of the world”. Today he was disappointed a deal couldn’t be made. Even though his name was still attached to the building, the businessman had no longer a stake in the company.
“Trump has taken some heat from his political opponents on the campaign trail for his bankruptcies. In 1991, just a year after opening “the Taj”, Trump filed bankruptcy, forcing him to sell off a 50 percent stake in the business”.
While claiming to be a great businessman, he failed at operating a casino (25 years ago) and received criticism for this on the campaign trail.
Poker Room in the Poker Boom
On the whole east coast, the poker room at the Trump Taj Mahal was the place to be to play poker. Beginning in 1996 until 2010, the U.S. Poker Championship took place at the casino. During its early years, it used to air on ESPN. Some of the tournament’s champions are for example John Hennigan, Men Nguyen, Alex Jacob and Daniel Negreanu.
The legendary poker room closed down, due to financial cutbacks in February 2015. After it reopened this past May, it now closed for good along with the rest of the casino.