Local politicians said Friday that credible sources have told them Trump Plaza employees will receive federally required notices next week that the casino may close in September.
“I’ve been angry and depressed about it all day,” state Sen. Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, said of the prospect of an additional 1,000 casino workers losing their jobs.
As of June 30, the casino had 1,009 employees, according to Division of Gaming Enforcement reports.
Brian Cahill, spokesman for Trump Entertainment, could not be reached for comment Friday.
John Donnelly, an attorney for Trump Entertainment, declined to comment.
“When it rains, it pours,” said state Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, D-Atlantic. He said he’s also been told by a reliable source that notices under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act would be issued next week. WARN requires companies to give employees 60 days’ notice of planned closures.
About 2,100 Showboat employees would lose their jobs if that casino shutters Aug. 31 as planned. And about 3,100 employees at the bankrupt Revel Casino Hotel could lose their jobs by Sept. 1 if they can’t find a buyer.
“This is potentially overwhelming,” Whelan said. “More than 6,000 people would be out of work. That’s a depression.”
William Hughes Jr., running for Congress against Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, said: “Combined, the layoffs contained in a shutdown by Revel, Showboat, Atlantic Club and Trump Plaza could total 24 percent of Atlantic City’s casino work force. This will catapult our regional economy into an economic catastrophe.”
Mazzeo echoed Hughes’ comments about the devastating blow to the economy.
Trump previously sent out 1,434 layoff notices in March 2013 when a $20 million sale to a California-based company was pending. The notices were rescinded days later. By the end of April 2013, the company announced the sale was on hold.
Trump Plaza reported the biggest decline in its gambling win year-over-year in May among all Atlantic City casinos. It reported about $4 million, which was a 26 percent decline from 2013.
State Assemblyman Chris Brown, R-Atlantic, said: “If this is true, I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult it must be for all of the dedicated employees and what they and their families are going through right now. Rest assured, I will continue to stand right alongside with them and do my best to make sure the casinos and the state keep their commitments, just as these hard-working men and women have kept their commitment.”
“As Atlantic City faces these significant challenges, Congressman LoBiondo will remain focused on working in partnership with local officials and those interested in making Atlantic City stronger going forward,” a spokesman said.
The bad news comes as state legislators discuss building casinos in North Jersey and stripping Atlantic City of the monopoly it has enjoyed on casino gambling in the state for decades.
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian could not be reached for comment Friday.
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