The business magnate worth billions, Carl Icahn has been a topic of many gambling related news over the past month. The reason for this is Icahn’s involvement with the legendary Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. Namely, Icahn saved the Taj from bankruptcy but failed to keep it open after he couldn’t reach an agreement with the union concerning employee’s benefits.
Now, Icahn has hit the headlines once again, as he’s made a statement announcing his intention to sell the shuttered casino. The billionaire, who’s also a special advisor to the US President (and the former owner of the Taj Mahal) Donald Trump, has reached a conclusion that this is a better option than trying to salvage this once legendary casino that’s become a part of pop culture.
Selling at a Loss
According to Icahn’s statement, the casino will possibly be sold at a loss. He still deems it a better option than investing further $100 – $200 million required to try and save the Taj Mahal. Icahn believes that there won’t be too many interested parties in buying an Atlantic City casino because of recent legislative changes championed by the President of the state’s Senate Stephen Sweeney.
To remind you, Sweeney pushed through a bill providing a five-year license suspension for all casino operators who decided to close down the shop after January 2016. The bill seemed to have targeted Icahn specifically, as he closed Taj in October 2016, which led to Governor Christie vetoing the bill. Christie deemed the bill was created with the sole purpose of punishing the current Taj Mahal owner Icahn, refusing to give it his blessing.
Future Looks Bleak for Former Employees
Had Governor Christie signed the bill into the law, this would make selling the Taj very hard. This would force Icahn to look for alternative solutions, which would probably involve reopening the casino and hiring at least a part of former employees back.
With the veto in place, Icahn will have much better chances of selling. Although the billionaire claims investors might be reluctant to buy with Sweeney as the leading man of the Senate, no bills can be passed without the Governor’s approval. As long as Christie keeps blocking the bill, the Taj will represent an attractive investment opportunity, to say the least.
Of course, if the new owner buys the property, they’ll be under no obligation to hire former employees, and won’t have to deal with the union requests. The requests by the UNITE HERE Local Union led to the Taj Mahal closure in 2016 after Icahn refused to provide better healthcare coverage and benefits.
As of right now, it is unclear if there are any interested buyers for the shuttered property. The Taj Mahal drama has been going on ever since the closure, and those who predicted the billionaire would probably attempt to sell the property were proven right. It’s hard to say what comes next, but it is clear that Icahn has some very powerful friends, so the whole Taj Mahal situation is unlikely to end to his disadvantage.