On New Years Day 2014 there were a total of 12 Atlantic City casinos operating in the New Jersey resort. By November that number could stand at 7 as the Trump Taj Mahal has issued layoff notices to every one of its 3,101 staff members. Reports state that if there is not a drastic turnaround in fortunes then the doors will be shut by Thanksgiving, pushing the total number of casino layoffs for the year to over the 8,000 mark. Bankruptcy protection has been filed for and the news comes right on the back of the closing of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.
A statement issued by Trump Entertainment read quite simply that “absent significant expense reductions, the Trump Taj Mahal is expected to close on or shortly after Nov. 13.” News of the possible closure came on the same day that Governor Christie called a meeting between casino executives, union leaders and officials regarding the future of AC. Suggestions on the table include more nightclubs, restaurants and convention centers to attract a non gambling crowd however replacing the long standing revenue stream of 5 casinos is a tough ask and one that will not be done overnight, especially as the downward trend is still continuing.
It may be a case of simply downsizing both the number of casinos and the expectations of Atlantic City, with the remaining 7 casinos benefiting from the closure of the others and managing to keep the lights on. With competition for casino players now coming from New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the new operations in Maryland, Atlantic City was always going to struggle, however few would have predicted such closures.