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Trump Saves His Reputation, Gets to Remove Name from Atlantic City Casinos

Oct 08, 2014 - by Monica Erdei
Donald Trump saves his reputation

Donald Trump saves his reputation

Donald Trump got what he wanted: his name is being taken off the now-bankrupt Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City.

This week began with good news for Donald Trump. The business magnate won his case against Trump Entertainment Resorts, where he asked to have his name taken off the Atlantic City casinos. In fact, Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka asked that the name be stripped from the company altogether.

Workers started taking down the letters spelling out Trump’s name on Monday morning. They also removed slot machines from the old Trump Plaza, after the casino shut down on September 16. Meanwhile, the Taj Mahal is also struggling and could close in November.

Trump’s lawyers argued in front of the court that the businessman doesn’t want to have his name associated with a company that left two casinos fall into such disrepair. Trump Entertainment violated quality standards that both sides had agreed upon, they said.

AP News: APNEWSBREAK: Trump Name Coming off Closed Casino

While Trump Entertainment is trying to figure out a way to save what’s left of its business, the latest gambling news
is talking about Trump’s victory in court.

“This is a very important step for us,” Ivanka Trump told reporters at The Associated Press. “It was pretty cut and dry: when we gave them a license to use our name, it was contingent on quality control and performance. They did not meet the high standards of luxury in every other asset in the Trump brand.”

The company declined to comment on the case.

Trump Plaza closed at the middle of September, but the businessman’s name was still up there. The mogul is simultaneously seeking to have his name removed from the Taj Mahal, and from Trump Entertainment Resorts. At the same time, his daughter said he is considering buying the casino, to save it from bankruptcy.

The investor sent out a statement emphasizing that he has had nothing to do with the company – other than associating his name with it – since 2009.

“I am saddened to see that the current managers and owners of the Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal were unable to operate these properties to the highest standards of luxury and success as required under the license agreement and consistent with my name and reputation.”

“Because of constant defaults of the standards stipulated in the license agreement, I had no choice but to terminate the license agreement and require TER to remove the Trump name from both buildings,” he explained.

CNN: The Donald wins. Trump name coming off casino
Donald Trump got his way and his name will be peeled off the façade of the Trump Plaza Casino. A spokesperson for the company said removing the letters from the building will take a few weeks. The magnate sued Trump Entertainment Resorts, the company that runs the venue, asking that his name be removed from both the Plaza and the Taj Mahal.

“We have a very high standard and they didn’t meet it,” the businessman explained in an interview with CNN Money. “We essentially won the suit.”

The Taj Mahal is expected to shut down on November 13, after several attempts of saving it from bankruptcy have failed. Trump Plaza closed in September, becoming the fourth Atlantic City casino to go out of business this year and causing 8,000 people to lose their jobs. At this point, it seems like not even gambling laws or tax exemptions can save these businesses from bankruptcy.

“Atlantic City needs a total remake,” Trump said.

Trump built and owned both casinos in the beginning, but he decided to sell them seven years ago. Since then, he has been licensing his name and image to the new owners. The lawsuit was filed in August, when the investor accused Trump Entertainment Resorts of neglecting the venues and letting them “fall into an utter state of disrepair”.

The license agreement stipulated the brand’s “superior reputation” should be used in a “dignified manner”, offering the “highest quality”. But the business magnate said these standards weren’t met.

The Guardian: Atlantic City casino to be stripped of Trump name

Trump Entertainment has gone out of business and is in bankruptcy court in Delaware, where it is trying to get permission to terminate pension plans for the Taj Mahal’s 2,800 employees. Last week, the judge refused to allow it for now, but scheduled more hearings on the casino’s proposal to cut costs.

The company’s plans for financial recovery include the elimination of employee pensions and healthcare benefits, supported by a $100 million investment from billionaire Carl Icahn. Trump Entertainment said that it would not be able to survive without these two vital measures, and added that it would have to close either on or before November 13.

While holding most of the company’s debt, Icahn said he would be willing to consider buying the Taj Mahal by converting the debt into ownership rights. But the offer doesn’t stand if the local government doesn’t make a few serious concessions. The investor has requested that Atlantic City drastically reduce property taxes on the casino.

Donald Trump still owns a 9% stake in Trump Entertainment, but the company is virtually worthless now. He and his daughter believe having their names associated with the two bankrupt casinos bring harm to their personal and professional reputation.

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