Taj Mahal Casino is closed, Atlantic City mourns

16.10.2016

“Eighth wonder of the world”, as Donald Trump himself called Taj Mahal has officially closed its doors in the morning of October, 10th. The most favorable forecast predict its work renewal in spring, but the majority thinks this closure is permanent.

“I still remember the times when Taj used to be the most popular place for playing poker in the whole Atlantic City,” one of the players writes on 2+2 forums.

Really, in the end of 90s Taj Mahal prospered. The Casino opened in the 1990, right after gambling became legal in New Jersey. In 1996 U.S. Poker Championship tournament with $10,000 has become the first one which had buy-in equal to the one of World Series tournaments.

Back then players started to crowd in gaming halls of the facility. In 1998, when the legendary “Rounders” movie appeared on the big screens, Taj Mahal was there.

Or the scene where Matt Damon’s hero is playing against Johnny Chan himself. The place of events is Taj Mahal as well.

“Middle/late 90s:

I gained experience there, my first try to get to the higher stakes.

I caught my first quads there, I got run over my quads an immense number of times.

I played my longest session there – more than 40 hours – and watch the sun rising twice.

I’ve met my first great woman there.

I always knew that I am a minute elevator drive from the best food on the planet.

I’ve lost my bankroll uncountable number of times there…” another regular writes.

Long way down

Poker room of Taj Mahal casino started to lose the “arms race” in 2003, when Borgata and later Foxwoods Casino and many other facilities opened in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland. Casino announced its bankruptcy several times: in 1991, 2004 and 2009, and temporarily closed in 2015. Then it re-opened its doors but worked in standard mode for just a couple of months – then a prolonged local union strike started, and official sources say that it led to the facility closure.

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Taj Mahal worker complained on absence of medical insurance and pension allowances. These measures were taken by the casino couple of years ago.

What’s interesting, more than 3,000 people worked in the complex, many of them worked here since the opening in 90s.

The owner of the casino in the moment is billionaire Carl Icahn, Donald Trump’s friend. According to his words, he lost over $350 million on this project and if it continued to work, he would have lost $100 million more in the future year.

According to CNN data, “Taj Mahal” became unprofitable right after its opening. The facility experienced financial difficulties, serious ones, almost during its whole history throughout the years. Considering the fact that several casinos have already closed in Atlantic City during the latest years, there is nothing surprising in Taj leaving the scene.

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The construction of Taj costed around $1 billion in 1990! Those expenses couldn’t be compensated in many years. The facility didn’t manage to do that.

“Played my first hand there (2/4 Limit Hold’em) in February of 2003…”

“First came to Taj in 2006… I was 15… This was the easiest way place in the city where an underage could play. Have many memories connected to this facility. What a pity”.

As Donald Trump claimed, the re-opening of entertainment complex will cost too much and likely, that will not happen. He also said that he is almost certain in successful decision of the conflict between the management of the facility and working union.

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