ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump opened his Trump Taj Mahal casino 26 years ago, calling it “the eighth wonder of the world.”
But his friend and fellow billionaire Carl Icahn is closing it Monday morning, making it the fifth casualty of Atlantic City’s casino crisis.
The sprawling Boardwalk casino shut its doors Monday morning, having failed to reach a deal with its union workers to restore health care and pension benefits that were taken away from them in bankruptcy court.
Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union was unable to reach a new contract with the Taj Mahal, which terminated workers’ health insurance and pension benefits nearly two years ago. The lack of contract led to a months-long strike as the casino continued to lose money.
It was announced that the casino would close in early August.
Nearly 3,000 workers are losing their jobs, bringing the total jobs lost by Atlantic City casino closings to 11,000 since 2014.
Trump once owned three Atlantic City casinos, but cut most ties with the city by 2009. Having lost ownership of the company to bondholders in a previous bankruptcy, Trump resigned as chairman of Trump Entertainment Resorts, retaining a 10 percent stake in return for the use of his name. That interest was wiped out in bankruptcy court when Icahn took over in March.
Trump tells The Associates Press he thinks both sides should have been able to reach a deal to save the casino.
Voters will decide in November whether to permit two new casinos in northern New Jersey just outside New York City, a development that would likely lead to additional casino closures in Atlantic City.
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