After receiving news that he will get limited financial support for his casino pursuits, investor Carl Icahn has accused the New Jersey Senate President of “selling out” AC.
The gambling atmosphere is nowhere near ideal in Atlantic City. Over the past year many big and popular gambling centers have closed their doors as they were no longer able to cope with the market conditions that have propelled many casinos out of business. With no imminent improvements expected in the economy more casinos may be looking at the same fate.
Lately the famous Taj Mahal has taken center stage as the latest casino to be facing the same circumstances as its other former competitors in Atlantic City. Luckily the casino has stumbled upon billionaire investor Carl Icahn who would be willing to help them out and save them from bankruptcy, but once again problems emerged with the state’s leadership.
Carl Icahn will complete the deal if his demands are met
• Carl Icahn looking to invest $100 million into the Taj Mahal
• Billionaire would take over only if certain conditions are met
• Sweeney has to decide whether to expand gambling business outside of AC
Carl Icahn has expressed that he would be willing to provide a helping hand to the Taj Mahal only if certain conditions and points are met by the leadership of New Jersey. According to gambling news, he wants to invest around $100 million into the popular establishment but must first receive assurances that in exchange there will be union givebacks and tax credits.
After being informed that New Jersey’s Senate President Steven Sweeney is not willing to extend the tax credits that Icahn is seeking, the investor responded by criticizing the official. Icahn accused the lawmaker of “selling out” Atlantic City by making plans for casinos and gaming facilities near the state of New York.
Last Friday Sweeney indicated that he wouldn’t sanction the state to provide any form of financial contribution to Trump Entertainment Resorts once Icahn completes his proposed takeover of the famed casino. Should there be no further developments in this matter it means the luxury casino Taj Mahal is still set for a November 13 closing date, as initially intended.
Icahn has some great experience in the casino industry as he previously owned a great deal of investments in companies that held gambling concerns. When he took over the popular Tropicana Casino in early 2010, he brought it out of a threatening slump and even managed to overturn its fortunes by creating many jobs and making important investments.
Uncertainty lingers over Atlantic City’s gambling business
Icahn called out Sweeney for criticizing him when in fact he should have thanked him for his bold moves on previously. “Sweeney is selling out Atlantic City to northern New Jersey on the one hand, and now he’s telling all these employees in Atlantic City that Carl Icahn is to blame, when I’m the only one that took a risk with $80 million when no one else would.”
Icahn highlighted that many investors are weary of Atlantic City as its future does not seem to be too promising. The reason for this is that they believe New Jersey lawmakers will approve casinos for the North of the state, which would render the gaming establishments in the seaside resort useless after losing its gambling monopoly in the state.
“On the one hand, we are to believe Sen. Sweeney is Atlantic City’s staunchest defender, yet on the other hand, the same Sen. Sweeney is off in north Jersey making plans to allow gaming outside of New York City, a concession that may mean the end of gaming in Atlantic City.”
The savvy investor also directly pointed to the fact that Sweeney is essentially going against the people he represents and even sarcastically mentioned that a popular illusionist would have been proud. “Sen. Sweeney, what you are doing here is selling out the people you represent in a remarkable act of contortionism. Harry Houdini would be very proud.”
If Sweeney were to expand the casino business to other areas of the state besides Atlantic City, that would require amending New Jersey’s constitution per US gambling laws. Despite stressing at a press conference last July that he would not put present any bill that would compromise Atlantic City, many industry experts are worried what may come of his plans.