UPDATE: Trump Taj Owner Asks Icahn to Stay Open

Update, 2:40 p.m.: The Trump Taj Mahal’s CEO is asking primary lender Carl Icahn to keep the casino open until a court fight with the union ends.

Icahn has not yet responded to the plea. If he agrees, the casino would remain open well into 2015. Local 54 Unite HERE is currently appealing a court decision that canceled the workers’ pensions and healthcare plans.

Earlier: The union for workers at the Trump Taj Mahal ignored a deadline from the casino to drop its appeal of a court order canceling health insurance and a pension plan for workers.

Both sides remained mum on the deal. The casino is slated to close Saturday morning at 6 a.m., the fifth casino to close in Atlantic City in 2014.

“Every day fewer and fewer people patronize the Taj, and we lose more and more of what little money we have left,” Trump Entertainment Resorts CEO Bob Griffin wrote on December 11th. “We just cannot wait any longer.” Nearly 3,000 people work at the Taj.

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Bill Would Provide Tax Break for A.C. Casinos

Photo courtesy  Wikimedia Commons.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

We started the news day telling you it appeared the Taj Mahal Casino was about the kick the bucket. We head into the late afternoon, however, with news of a possible reprieve.

New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Sen. James Whelan have proposed a plan to let Atlantic City’s surviving casinos pay $150 million to the state in lieu of taxes for two years; it would redirect a tax now used to support new developments to help Atlantic City pay off its debt.

AP reports:
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The Second Philly Casino License Goes to Live!

Rendering of Live! Hotel and Casino via PlanPhilly

Rendering of Live! Hotel and Casino via PlanPhilly

The PA Gaming Control Board has just publicly voted to award the second Philadelphia casino license to Stadium Casino LLC, operating as Live! This is just the initial phase of the licensing. The decision is subject to appeal, and therefore the Board will not comment on the decision. The meeting has just ended, but before it did, PA Gaming Control Board Chairman Bill Ryan said that the denials of the other three petitioners had nothing to do with lack of character or integrity in the other contenders. Rather, the decision was based on the following factors: the protection of the public; public interest and the social effects of gambling; the integrity and control of the slots business; tax revenues and tourism in Pennsylvania.

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Ugly Allegations Enter Philly Casino License Picture

fox 29 still

A still from the Fox29 report.

Someone affiliated with one of the four casino bidders (not Live!) sent me the below video this morning, shortly after I saw the same story on philadelinquency.com. The allegation is this: The expected announcement that Live! will win the bid for Philly’s second casino license today may be, in part, due to a romantic relationship between a lead attorney for the Live! project and a lawyer who worked, until earlier this year, for the PA Gaming Board. PDQ’s Chris Sawyer calls it a “sexual conspiracy theory”; Fox29 takes it more seriously, and speaks with the interim head of the Committee of Seventy about it:

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Will South Philly Beat Out Center City for a Casino?

Rendering of Live! Hotel and Casino via PlanPhilly

Rendering of Live! Hotel and Casino via PlanPhilly

Tomorrow the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board holds a special meeting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center at which it publicly votes on who gets Philadelphia’s second casino license. There are four bidders — two in Center City (The Provence at 400 North Broad Street and Market8 at 8th and Market) and two in South Philly (Casino Revolution at 3333 South Front Street and Live! Hotel and Casino at 900 Packer Ave.) — waiting for word.

Because the whole thing has taken so damn long, we asked Doug Harbach, PGCB spokesperson, what would happen if the vote is deadlocked tomorrow. You know, just in case. Ain’t gonna happen.

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Suburban Officials Blast Possibility of New Philadelphia Casino

Officials from Delaware County gathered today to blast the idea of a second casino in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will vote on Tuesday to decide which bidder, if any, will get a license for a second casino in Philadelphia.

“Common sense just shows you that the gaming industry has changed,” Delaware County Councilman John McBlain said today in Ridley. “The combination of a bad, national economic climate, online gaming taking effect in many places and the saturation of the casino market has changed the game.”

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Morning Headlines: Casino Developer Faces NIMBY Opposition in South Philly

 

Rendering of Live! Hotel and Casino via PlanPhilly

Rendering of Live! Hotel and Casino via PlanPhilly

Earlier this week, Joel Mathis announced that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will soon bestow Philadelphia’s second casino license to one of the four applicants left. But with rumors that one of the contenders has the license in the bag, and the approval not due till the 18th, residents in South Philadelphia are rallying in protest.

According to NewsWorks’ Bill Hangley, residents are fighting against Stadium Casinos, LLC’s proposed Live! Hotel and Casino that would be at 10th and Packer. Their main issue with the proposed development? It’s proximity to the stadium complex. From NewsWorks:  Read more »

State Poised to Strike Casino Firearms Ban

shutterstock_203869795-gun-cards-940x540

The State of Pennsylvania appears ready to strike down its longstanding casino firearms ban.

Casinos would still be able to bar guns from their premises, under the new rule to be considered next week by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission. But the current blanket ban — in effect since 2008 — appears to be illegal under a 2011 state law restricting the ability of state agencies to regulate firearms.

Don’t expect Pennsylvania casinos to become a shooting gallery, however.

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Stockton College to Buy Former Showboat Casino

showboat

Caesars, which owns the now-shuttered Showboat Casino that closed August 31st, has signed an agreement to sell the property to Stockton College.

“If the transaction of Showboat Atlantic City is completed, Stockton will acquire approximately 28 acres and a 1,425,000 square-foot building,” the statement said. “Stockton said it plans to repurpose the former Showboat site as a branch campus. The transaction is subject to completion of due diligence by the College and the negotiation and execution of a definitive agreement.”

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