Fears that Trump Taj Mahal casino could reopen following ‘union-busting’

Fears that Trump Taj Mahal casino could reopen following 'union-busting'

The Trump Taj Mahal has only been closed for 24 hours but speculation is already mounting that the Atlantic City casino could rise from the dead in a few months’ time.

Fears that Trump Taj Mahal casino could reopen following 'union-busting'The Taj Mahal officially shut its doors at 6am on Monday, after owner Carl Icahn failed to reach agreement on a new labor deal with the property’s striking unionized workers. Now rumors are circulating that the Taj could reopen in a few months with a workforce consisting entirely of non-union employees.

On Tuesday, the Press of Atlantic City quoted New Jersey state Sen. Stephen Sweeney suggesting that Icahn could be implementing a “union busting” plan that would involve reopening the Taj under a new name with a more pliant workforce.

Icahn hasn’t publicly indicated any intention to reopen the Taj under any circumstances, having stated that he saw “no path to profitability” for the property. But state gaming regulators confirmed that the property’s gaming license remains valid until it is surrendered to the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), something Icahn has yet to do.

Concerned that Icahn may be attempting a union end-around, Sweeney is supporting legislation that would “prevent the manipulation of bankruptcy law and gaming licensing” and thereby allow casino owners to “warehouse” a gaming license.

The S-2575 bill would allow the DGE to unilaterally define the “substantial closure” of a casino and revoke the property’s gaming license. The bill, which would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2016, would prevent a gaming license holder from re-opening a property for five years following the DGE making its ‘substantial closure’ decision. The bill does allow for the property’s license to be reinstated should the owner and its workforce reach a mutually-acceptable agreement to resume their normal activities.

S-2575 was unanimously approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Sept. 26. The companion bill in the Assembly, A-4187p, was introduced on Sept. 19 and referred to the Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee.