Turmoil at 2 Trump casinos as Plaza shutdown nears
ATLANTIC CITY (AP) — Two Trump casinos in Atlantic City are in turmoil as the closing of Trump Plaza nears.
Trump Plaza is considering keeping its Internet betting operation online after the physical casino closes Sept. 16, and the Taj Mahal is experiencing money problems.
In a petition to New Jersey casino regulators, Trump Entertainment Resorts says it might try to keep its Internet gambling operation with online partner Betfair going after Trump Plaza closes on Sept. 16.
The petition says the company has not decided yet whether to seek permission from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement to keep its Internet gambling license. The company is "exploring the economic, legal and practical feasibility of continuing its relationship with its Internet gaming provider following the cessation of gaming operations."
Betfair and Trump Plaza have won $4.3 million from gamblers through the first seven months of this year, tied for last place with Taj Mahal and its online partner Ultimate Gaming. Borgata, the online market leader, has won $27.1 million, and Caesars Interactive has won $21.2 million through July.
The same petition also reveals Trump Plaza may seek permission to let certain third-party vendors keep operating on the casino property after the casino and its hotel shut down.
That is an issue that surfaced this week at Revel, which shut down over the holiday weekend. Its outdoor day-club, HQ, wants permission to continue operating independently of the casino, noting that it can let patrons in and out without ever entering the casino building.
It is asking federal bankruptcy court for a ruling that lets the club resume operations while the now-closed Revel continues its Chapter 11 case and seeks a buyer. But it was not clear whether the judge would have the authority to order the club to reopen without permission of Revel Entertainment Group.
Trump Entertainment also says it has been negotiating with lenders for some more breathing room for the Taj Mahal.
Both sides have been trying to extend a temporary agreement for lenders not to foreclose if the company defaults on its loans. The original agreement would have expired Aug. 18. Company officials did not respond Thursday to requests for comment on the status of the negotiations.
The Taj Mahal reported a gross operating profit of $1.8 million in the second quarter of this year, but that was down 69 percent from its performance in the second quarter of 2013.
Trump Plaza reported a $3.3 million quarterly loss, down from a $143,000 profit in the second quarter of last year.
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