Icahn not interested in selling Trump Taj Mahal casino


trump-taj-mahal-casino-not-for-saleBillionaire Carl Icahn says he has no intention of selling the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal casino, a scenario Atlantic City’s mayor called “the worst of the worst” possible outcomes.

On Tuesday, Icahn told the Associated Press that, while he does plan to surrender the Taj Mahal’s gaming license, there was no truth to reports of Icahn having talks with unidentified parties regarding the sale of the Taj.

Icahn shut the Taj last October after a lengthy squabble with the casino’s unionized workers, which convinced Icahn that there was “no path to profitability” for the property. Union bosses accused Icahn of planning to reopen the Taj with a non-union workforce, which led New Jersey legislators to pass a bill imposing a five-year gaming license suspension on casino closers.

Icahn told the AP that he wasn’t sure whether he’d try to reopen the Taj, but one thing was certain: “We are not looking to sell it, not at today’s prices. I made my fortune buying things cheap.” Icahn has also slapped a deed restriction on the casino that would prevent a future buyer from operating gaming on the premises unless they pay him an unspecified fee.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian wasn’t overly thrilled with Icahn’s plans to let the Taj Majal sit empty and idle. Speaking during his unofficial State of the City speech on Wednesday, Guardian said Icahn “doesn’t have any faith in the city. I get it. But don’t let us lose that building on the Boardwalk. We need that activity and those jobs.” Guardian urged Icahn to sell the Taj, “make a profit and move on.”

Guardian fondly recalled the Taj’s better days, back when it was considered “the crown jewel in Atlantic City before the Borgata” was built. AC has witnessed five of its 12 casinos close since 2014, none of which have reopened as gaming venues.