Icahn Looks to Offload Trump Taj Mahal

by Kyle Miller

Carl IcahnAfter facing tough opposition via new legislation that is in the works, Carl Icahn is now considering selling the Trump Taj Mahal.

Just one day after reports surfaced of new legislation barring billionaire businessman Carl Icahn from reopening the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal, the businessman seems to ready to sell. A bill is waiting to be signed by Governor Chris Christie that will keep Icahn from doing anything with the property, by way of casino gaming, for a five year time frame. Icahn is now looking at his options and it seems selling may be the only way out of the ordeal.

Searching for a Buyer

Carl Icahn is reportedly searching for a buyer for the Trump Taj Mahal with the New York Post quoting sources that say the businessman is in dialog with operators in regards to selling the casino of Atlantic City. The casino has been closed since October after Icahn and the unionized workforce were unable ot come to terms.

The news of the potential sale comes just after the New Jersey Assembly passed new legislation that would place a five year gaming license suspension on operators who voluntarily close a casino in Atlantic City. The bill was approved by the State Senate as well which leaves only a signature needed by Chris Christie for the bill to be law.

In the past, Icahn had stated that such a bill was unconstitutional and that with it being retroactive to January of this year, it applied only to him and not the four other properties that closed down back in 2014. It should be pointed out that the four properties closed due to necessity while it seems that Icahn was closing the Taj due to not coming to an agreement with union workers and was looking to reopen with a non-unionized workforce in place.

Thoughts from Icahn and Local 54 Now

Earlier this week, Icahn spoke with the Post and stated that the legislation was another absurd antic by Senate President Sweeney that will hurt Atlantic City. The casino owner has yet to comment on the rumors of negotiations to possibly sell the Trump Taj Mahal.

Just days after the casino closed down, Local 54 representatives of the United HERE union were talking about how Icahn was planning on reopening the property early next year with non-union workers. If the venue were to be sold, it is unclear as to if the Taj would reopen without working out terms with the former unionized employees or if non-union workers will be hired.

Bob McDevitt of the Local 54 stated to the Post that he is confident that the casino will reopen but only if the union plays a part. The Local 54 has created deals recently with other casinos in Atlantic City including the Tropicana which is owned by Icahn as well. According to McDevitt, the members of the union will not accept two or three different standards in Atlantic City.

Legislators wanted to create the legislation that would block Icahn from opening the casino again with non-unionized workers to prove a point that operators cannot just shut down whenever they like. The goal is to keep Atlantic City afloat, as the gaming town is down to seven gaming venues when it was once twelve strong.

It will be interesting to see if Icahn will be selling the casino or if he will choose a different route to take. The bill that will stop him from reopening the casino still has to be signed or vetoed by Chris Christie. Even if Christie decides to veto the measure, the legislators of the state can see the bill come into law the majority of both chambers voted in favor.