Trump Taj Mahal Beyond Salvation: End of Road for Fabled Casino

Tha fabled Taj Mahal Casino will be closing its doors after Labor Day: this time, for good (source: trumptaj.com)
Tha fabled Taj Mahal Casino will be closing its doors after Labor Day: this time, for good (source: trumptaj.com)

Twenty six years… A quarter of a century and then some: that’s how long the Taj Mahal Casino has been in operation, employing thousands of people and witnessing countless stories of gambling. Some of them were great, no doubt, others not so much, but this fabled casino has truly seen it all.

Among other things, the Taj was the home to some scenes from the cult poker movie “Rounders,” further establishing its place as a true gambling landmark. All of that, however, was not enough to salvage the casino which, despite all the attempts, will definitely be going out of business after Labor Day.

Taj Mahal Bumpy Journey

Problems started back in 2014, when the Atlantic City casino made their first announcement they would be going out of business. The news was a shock to many, but primarily to some 3,000 employees who made their ends meet working at the Taj Mahal. Dealers, waiters, pit bosses, and all other casino personnel found themselves in a truly unenviable position.

The bankruptcy procedure was initiated and, at that point, there was little hope left for the casino. However, at the last moment, the billionaire Carl Icahn swooped in with a cash injection and took over the drowning property from the hands of Trump’s company. The owner thus changed, but the name remained the same.

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Taj Mahal
The billionaire Carl Icahn prolonged the inevitable by saving the Taj Mahal from bankruptcy earlier in 2016.

Although the Taj was still far from being safe and sound, this gave casino workers a new hope. You might be wondering: why would anyone invest money into a property that was clearly barely holding on? The answer, to this day, remains unknown. He clearly believed there was something that could be done, but it seems now his numbers were off.

The Final Blow

When Icahn first purchased the Taj early in 2016, workers thought it was a gift sent by God. The Union expressed their hopes that the new owner will finally start treating workers the way they deserve and that things will start going in the right direction.

But, here’s the kicker: that never happened. In fact, they quickly came to realize that none of their requests were going to be met and from the day one, the billionaire made it quite clear that covering employees’ costs was not a part of his plan for restructuring.

Taj Mahal
Despite the initial enthusiasm, Taj Mahal employees and the new owner simply couldn’t find the common tongue. This culminated in the massive strike that took place in July, marking the beginning of the end.

This led to a mass strike on July 1st, which saw 1,000 workers walk out of the casino, expressing their utmost dissatisfaction with how their demands regarding health benefits and pensions were treated. Icahn responded in force, calling union members extortionists. It quickly became evident that no agreement would be reached.

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The End of Road for the Taj Mahal

A few days ago, the casino made the announcement they would be closing for good after Labor Day. Despite (halfhearted) attempts to rescue the casino, the streak of bad luck that’s been following the property for a couple of years now is simply not going away.

Carl Ichan stated that he spent around $100 million trying to keep the Taj afloat. It wasn’t enough. He described the purchase as a bad bet – the one he was finally ready to let go of.

For the employees, nothing changed. Some 3,000 of them are still in the same position they were two years ago: about to lose their jobs and without a real idea where to go next. Casinos in Atlantic City have been dying one after another and the Taj is the fifth one to go out of business during the recent years.

It was the clash between the owner and the union members that constituted the final blow. The billionaire was simply not prepared to give the employees what they expected regarding their benefits; union representatives, on the other hand, were not willing to compromise – and it all came to a crushing stop.

Taj Mahal
Unless there is yet another billionaire willing to take the risk, it seems that this time around, the Taj is, sadly, done for good.

Trying to figure out who the guilty parties really are goes well beyond the scope of this article and my personal insight in the matter. One thing seems inevitable, though. The Taj Mahal, one of the most renown casinos on the planet, lost the battle against time and competition. Once a landmark of AC, it will soon become just another casino that went out of business.

And 3,000 people will be out of work. As for both Icahn and Trump, I am confident they will both be more than fine.

2 thoughts on “Trump Taj Mahal Beyond Salvation: End of Road for Fabled Casino”

  1. :mad: I have been playing poker there on and off for many years. I live 340 miles from there. I used to take a week vacation by myself just to visit my favorite casino. Now it is closing. I shall be down in one week, August 21 thru the 26 . My one Question is what day are you closing? How will you divide the Bad Beat monies in POKER for I am an avid player and am I entitled to my share? Have you set a date for this to happen???????

    Reply
    • Robert, it’s neat to run into a player who was still actively playing there, but I’m sorry this is happening. That’s got to be frustrating.

      I’m pretty sure Trump Taj Mahal said it would be closing after Labor Day, which is Monday, September 5th.

      You should still be good for your vacation next week. Maybe the action will even pick up a bit with players getting in time there before it closes?

      I’m not too familiar with other cardrooms in the area or which direction you’re coming from, but maybe Foxwoods in Connecticut?

      Reply

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