Trump Entertainment Resorts CEO Bob Griffin (below) has basically flung himself at the feet of Carl Icahn and begged the billionaire to keep funding Trump Taj Mahal “well into 2015,” while Unite-Here‘s appeal of a bankruptcy court ruling is adjudicated, maybe longer. (If I were Icahn, I’d like to know what I’m getting in return.) Icahn’s ultimatum of ‘Give me tax breaks or I’ll kill this casino’ having fallen upon deaf ears in Trenton, there’s a serious danger the Taj will close this Saturday. This may not be cause for grief among other Boardwalk operators, all of whom stand to inherit what little business the Taj still does.
In yet another of his open letters, Griffin wrote, “The state, city and the union have all abandoned us. You are our last hope to find a solution that will keep the Taj open and save these 3,000 jobs.” Say what you like, the man has a flair for melodrama. However, he needs to work on Continued >>
When the going gets tough, Sam Nazarian gets the hell out of Dodge, although he’ll try to take some of the revenue stream with him. That’s the moral to be drawn from his withdrawal from any operational role at SLS Las Vegas, a property already besieged with rumbles of financial trouble. Nazarian had already been through a rough hearing before the Nevada Gaming Control Board and approval by the Nevada Gaming Commission is no slam dunk. The best Nazarian can hope for, it appears, is a provisional, probationary, one-year license. Hardly a ringing vote of confidence in this oft-proclaimed “visionary.”
“With the extremely talented executive team led by Scott Kreeger and our dedicated work force at the resort, I feel my professional efforts are Continued >>
Score one for the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City and its peppery owner, Tilman Fertitta. Its threat to “blow up” a property-tax reform deal was sufficient to bring about a compromise acceptable to all sides. Under the original bill and its fixed-payment system, annual levies would have risen for casinos that arguably need the help the most. Now, that overage will be credited toward their Casino Reinvestment Development Authority payments. Also subtract the $2 million a year the Nugget would have paid the defunct Atlantic City Alliance and you’ve got a package Fertitta can accept.
As Nugget corporate counsel Steve Scheinthal put it, “We’re protected for five years; that’s a good thing. At least we have some stability and we know our taxes aren’t going to rise.”