Carl Icahn has warned New Jersey lawmakers that a bill concerning the reopening of shuttered Atlantic City casinos is “ill-advised” and “unconscionable”.
Icahn is holding out on the possibility of reopening or selling the Trump Taj Mahal, but if this bill passes, it would be impossible to do either.
The legislature would strip Icahn of a casino license for the property for five years, essentially punishing him for shutting the casino down in the first place.
The aim of the bill is to prevent owners from closing a casino and then “sitting on” the licence for years. Currently, there is no deadline for the owners to turn over the casino license.
The bill, introduced by Senate President Steve Sweeney, claims it would return the casino licence to such an owner if he or she reaches a deal with casino labour unions to reopen the casino.
Tony Rodio, who runs the Taj casino and Icahn’s Tropicana casino, claims the bill is nothing but a punishment for closing the beleaguered casino earlier this month and was aimed only at one person.
Rodio states Icahn saved that casino when it was in danger of closing six years ago, saying: “Punishing Mr. Icahn by revoking his ability to reopen the Taj or making further investments in Atlantic City for five years, as well as restricting his ability to sell the Taj, is unconscionable especially in the light of his record in saving the Tropicana.”
“It is particularly ill-advised because with this legislation Carl Icahn’s ability to further invest in Atlantic City has been constrained and the possibility of creating additional jobs has been seriously limited.”
Whilst Rodio refused to respond on whether the company plans to reopen the Taj Mahal at any point in the future, he predicts it will discourage future investment in Atlantic City.