Multiple reports say the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino could close in September, as the Atlantic City gaming hall prepares to notify employees that they could lose their jobs.
On Friday, state Sen. Jim Whelan told several news outlets the casino will issue notices next week under the federal Warn Act, which requires companies to notify workers 60 days in advance of a closing or mass layoff. The announcement would make it New Jersey’s second casino to declare such plans in just two weeks, following word that Caesars Entertainment Corp. would close Showboat on Aug. 31.
“It’s certainly credible,” Whelan (D-Northfield) told The Press of Atlantic City of the news that Trump Plaza would close. “I’ve heard it from multiple sources.”
Reports say Trump Plaza has between 900 and 1,000 employees.
The struggling casino has been among the hardest-hit by a devastating citywide decline in gaming revenue since 2006. Last year, the property had just under $74 million in casino winnings, according the state Division of Gaming Enforcement; that represented a 28 percent decline from 2012 and made it the worst-performing of the resort’s 12 gaming houses at the time.
The 24-year-old property lost more than $4.7 million in 2013, according to DGE data.
The 906-room hotel and casino, which is owned by Trump Entertainment, was on track to be sold early last year for what was seen as a bargain-basement price of $20 million. The deal later fell through.
At the time, its parent company sent out Warn Act notices that were later rescinded.
Trump Plaza appears to be the latest casualty in the once-proud East Coast gaming destination, as competition from neighboring states continues to grow. The Atlantic Club closed in January, and Caesars announced June 27 that it would close Showboat, though it said last week it would consider selling the property to another casino operator.
The announcement followed news that the beleaguered Revel Casino Hotel would close this summer if it can't find a buyer. The 2-year-old megaresort is now in its second round of bankruptcy proceedings.
More than 6,000 jobs would be lost if Showboat, Trump Plaza and Revel all close.
“When it rains, it pours,” state Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield) told The Press of Atlantic City.
Soon after the Showboat announcement, a Deutsche Bank analyst said he believed Atlantic City could only support six or seven casinos and “thus, more supply needs to come out of the market.” The string of bad news has renewed the debate about whether to expand casino gaming to North Jersey sooner rather than later, despite a prior pledge by state officials to hold off until early 2016.
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