Casinos, Mortgages and Vodka: Trump’s Business Failures

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‘You win some, you lose some’

When luck is in your favour it feels like you are riding in a gold plated speedboat in a sea of diamonds with wads of cash bursting out of your pockets, but when things go wrong and life takes a turn for the worst, well, ‘you win some, you lose some’ as the old adage goes. Presumably, Donald Trump will be hearing those words now more than ever now as the infallible businessman with almost limitless funds barges through his presidential campaign with unjustified arrogance as he attempts to bury the largest hatchet in his campaign which are, we believe, his business failures.

Before luckynuggetcasino.com explores the relevancy this has to his campaign, one point must be raised. One of Trump’s strongest attributes is his strong natured personality which was nurtured through his forays in business. This is reported to have turned Trump into a stern negotiator who backs down against nobody. In turn, his success in business and his experience of running huge organisations can be transferred to the running of the USA. He seems, on paper, an ideal candidate in terms of running the country operationally. His right wing views are another topic whatsoever; we’re looking at his ability to lead. If his presidency is linked to his business successes then surely the same view can be taken about business failures; Trump Airlines, Trump Vodka, Trump Mortgages, Trump’s Board Game and of course, Trump’s Casinos.

If he can fail in business can he fail America?

The Rise And Fall Of Trump’s Casinos

It seems that the ethereal nature of luck threw Trump straight to the top of Atlantic City’s in the 1980s and chucked him straight back out. His climb up the pecking order in the 80s, with three casinos – Trump Plaza (1984), Trump Castle (1985) and Trump Taj Mahal (1990) – was a rapid process. In just 10 years Trump, and the holding company Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts were profiting lavishly from their three casinos; from 1990 – 1991, profits from the Taj Mahal rose from $70.8 million to $103.2 million.

All seemed well on the surface and the figures suggested success however this was short lived at best. Just one year later Trump Taj Mahal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which entitled the holding company to remain in possession of Trump Casinos as debtors in possession, with the courts oversight and jurisdiction. The following year both the Trump Plaza and Trump Marina followed suit. Unfortunately, this was a short term reprieve.

The company remained afloat for a further thirteen years until applying again for bankruptcy with $1.8 billion worth of debt that rendered it too poor to keep up with competitors. Through this he lost 29% of his stock ownership, reducing his stake from 56% to 27% while reducing the overall debt to $1.3 billion. During this process the company re branded as Trump Entertainment Resorts. Trump brushed this off as a ‘technical thing’ and the best way to implement the restructuring plan. It wasn’t. The company was back in chapter 11 in 2009.

Trump decided enough was enough and to remove himself from the situation he resigned as the board’s chairman. This was after the board rejected his proposal to take the company private – private, something Trump wishes this situation now was.  Trump retained 10% equity of Trump Entertainment Resorts for allowing them to use his name. Of course, Trump insists none of this affected his personal fortune and was a common thing for casinos to do in Atlantic City.

Bye Bye Casinos, Bye Bye

The Trump Marina was sold off in 2011 and Trump Plaza closed in 2014 and to top it all off Trump attempted to sue Trump Entertainment Resorts as it failed to live up to a contracted manadate which insisted on certain conditions. Essentially, the business magnate claimed his casinos were damaging his name. The rusty stains on the signs that bore his name on top of his former casinos in particular irritated him. The company painted them but refused to take them down. The Taj Mahal was the last to go after being taken over by fellow billionaire Carl Icahn through bankruptcy court. In an attempt to get a hold in Philadelphia, a consortium lead by trump applied, but was rejected by state regulators for another casino license.

Trump Entertainment sold its Indiana Riverboat, the last of their casinos, in 2005 as part of its escape from bankruptcy. Their empire is no more and Trump has paid for it by damaging his reputation. Maybe he’s not the business man he thinks he is. What do you think?