Having thrown its workforce to the wolves as part of its bankruptcy plan — one that may not ultimately save any jobs — Trump Entertainment Resorts has pissed off the wrong guy: state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D). Chief creditor Carl Icahn has pledged to invest $100 million in Trump Taj Mahal if New Jersey commits hundreds of millions more to a taxpayer bailout of TER and its dubiously competent management team. In a series of tweets, Sweeney laid out his opposition to the rescue plan …
I won’t allow Icahn to use any state grants, tax breaks, subsidies to help underwrite attempt to take away rights and benefits of workers … If the court’s ruling stands, then middle-class America has lost. We should be building economy from the bottom up by supporting workers … It’s unfair and un-American to allow billionaires like Icahn to exploit the financial difficulties of the casino industry to prey on workers. Continued >>
In the casino world it’s pretty much unheard-of for a company to hang a “for sale” sign on itself without a suitor in view. Patti Hart did it successfully at International Game Technology, earlier this year. Now Full House Resorts is trying to lure a buyer. Since Full House stock has 55% since the start of the year, this might be a target of opportunity for companies in growth mode, like Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc.
Buyers would have to swallow one bitter pill, namely that flagship casino Rising Star Riverboat is getting pummeled by rival casinos and racinos closer to Cincinnati. Full House’s other occupants are Continued >>
“Extend and pretend.” Those are the words of gaming analyst Alan Woinski, describing the debt-management practices of Caesars Entertainment and CEO Gary Loveman: “they extended out the maturities and just put new debt on top of old debt, and the pretend part is pretending that someday they’d be able to pay it off.” The company has lost $853 million so far this year, yet continues to pursue an aggressive expansive strategy that would have you thinking its worst days were behind it. (Though they already caught up with it in Massachusetts and might do so in New York State.)
One of the ways this has been done is to segregate the new projects and better-performing assets into subsidiaries like Caesars Growth Partners (aka Little Caesars), although some doubt that if debt takes down Big Caesars — Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. — Little Caesars will be able to escape the tsunami. Loveman is pretty blunt about it, too. “We two years ago created a subsidiary known as Caesars Growth Partners, created with the purpose of funding our growth for new projects like the Baltimore project that opened just a few weeks ago, and this one,” he told Continued >>