Senate Passes Casino Shutdown Bill in NJ to Dismay of Carl Icahn

by Kyle Miller

New Jersey SenateThe Senate of New Jersey has decided to pass a casino shutdown bill, one that had Carl Icahn worried about the fate of the Trump Taj Mahal.

Just yesterday we learned that a gambling bill was being considered that would keep casino operators in the state of New Jersey from shutting down gambling venues. The measure would see applicants of casino licenses shut out of the industry for five years if a casino is closed in the state. If passed, the law would only apply to Carl Icahn as of right now, the owner of the Trump Taj Mahal, which closed down earlier this month. This new law has now been passed by the Senate and Icahn has to be very frustrated with the outcome at this point.

Icahn’s Fears Become a Reality

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney is the sponsor of the measure that was able to move past the Senate with a vote of 29 to 6. The bill will now move to the Governor’s desk and will prevent Icahn from selling the venue or re-opening if signed into law. Sweeney commented to the Press of Atlantic City on the vote by the Senate yesterday and about the industry by stating:

Steve Sweeney Quote

The proposed measure would see applicants of casino licensing disqualified from operating for a five year time frame if the applicant is found to have substantially closed a casino in the state.

Anti-Icahn Casino Shutdown Bill

Those who are working with Carl Icahn have called the bill the anti-Icahn casino shutdown bill and feel the measure was created only to hurt the businessman due to the fact that he closed down the Trump Taj Mahal. With the closure, Atlantic City was left with only seven operating gaming venues. Tony Rodio works for Icahn as the running operator of the Taj and Tropicana, both owned by Icahn. Rodio has stated that the measure is a blatant attack on Icahn based on the fact the measure goes into effect January of 2016 and would involve only the businessman.

Rodio commented on the bill by stating the following:

Tony Rodio Quote

The only chance that Icahn has now is to see Governor Chris Christie not sign the measure. There has been no indication by the office of the Governor as to if he plans on signing the measure or if it will be vetoed.

It seems as though the legislation has been created as a way for Atlantic City to avoid losing any more gaming venues. Since 2014, five venues have shut down, leaving the gambling town with less options for gamblers as well as lower revenues coming in. The Atlantic Club, Showboat, Revel and Trump Plaza are the gaming venues that shut down in 2014, followed by the Trump Taj Mahal this year.

For now, Icahn can only wait to see what Christie decides to do and then go from there. However, it does seem like the businessman might be stuck with the venue, with no move to make based on the new legislation.