Atlantic City casino serves over 1,000 layoff notices in preparation for closure

By Emma Rumney
More than 1,000 staff at Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino received layoff notices on Monday as the venue prepares to close on 16 September.

In the latest blow to Atlantic City’s gambling industry, Trump Plaza’s parent company Trump Entertainment Resorts (TER) has begun “reviewing alternatives for the property”. This makes Trump the fourth casino to close or threaten to close this autumn in AC.

In a statement the firm said: “WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining) notices were sent to the employees of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino today to advise them that the management and board of directors of Trump Plaza Associates and its parent company, Trump Entertainment Resorts, have been reviewing alternatives to the property.

“Although this review has not been completed and no final decision has been made, the company expects that it will terminate the operations of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino on or shortly after 16 September.”

Trump Plaza booked less than half of its rooms in the first quarter of 2014 and had the lowest gaming revenue of any of AC’s casinos in May, according to state documents.

While AC started the year with 12 casinos, closure of the Trump Plaza – one of the city’s oldest and smallest casinos – would take it down to eight.

In the last month the city’s newest casino – the $2.4b Revel – has declared bankruptcy for the second time in a year and Caesars Entertainment have announced it intends to close the Mardi Gras-themed Showboat by the end of the summer.

Another AC casino, the Atlantic Club, had already closed in January.

Together the four casinos employed just under 9,000 workers.

Not only are AC’s casinos in oversupply with barely any demand, but the city faces much competition from surrounding areas. Since 2006 it has lost nearly half its gaming revenue to surrounding states including Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland.

Local and state politicians in AC were reportedly told by Trump Plaza attorneys that the firm planned to issue layoff notices on Friday.

Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, who was among those briefed on the matter, said: “I was hopeful but I knew the outcome wouldn’t be different.

“This will have a devastating impact on the local economy, because its workers from these casinos that support the other local shops, restaurants and franchises.”

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