The management of the troubled Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City which was shut down on October 10 due to union issues and financial problems has so far given no hints about their plans for the facility. However a few lawmakers in Atlantic City are proposing to bring in a bill that will block any move to reopen the casino under a new name.
Such a move would allow the casino to hire new employees who are not affiliated with the Local 54 Here Union and allow for them to bump the union in the process. If Billionaire Carl Icahn who owns the casino decides to reopen it under a new name, he would need to hire 2,500 employees afresh.
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State Senate President Steve Sweeney has said that he will be introducing a bill that will disallow casino owners from retaining the rights to their casino license for five years once they shutdown their casino.
In a statement Sweeney said,
Labor disputes happen and usually get resolved one way or another. But casino owners shouldn’t be able to misuse bankruptcy laws and gaming regulations in order to warehouse a license or take money out of the pockets of casino workers and strip them of benefits simply because they refuse to come to a labor agreement with their employees
Carl Icahn brought the casino out of bankruptcy last year can reopen the facility since he still owns the license which is valid until it is surrendered to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Kerry Langan, a spokeswoman for the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, said that there was no deadline for an owner to surrender a license under state law. Lagan said that the casino would need to submit the license when the Division asks for it, but that could be quite a few months away.
Richard Perniciaro, director of the Center for Regional and Business Research at Atlantic Cape Community College pointed out that the success of existing casinos in the market might force Trump Taj Mahal casino to be reopened as a non-gaming venue. He said that non-casino entertainment is now a must for any facility to be able to survive in Atlantic City’s shrinking market with already-established casino players holding on to market share. Should Sweeney’s bill be approved by the state assembly it will be retroactive from Jan. 1, 2016.