Casino Owner Carl Icahn at Odds with Atlantic City Over Future Growth
In a recent report on Casino News Daily, billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s stake in Atlantic City’s casino industry has put him at odds with the New Jersey coastal gambling town. The casino industry in AC has had its fair share of issues in recent years, and Icahn remains at the center of the storm given his stake in a few of its properties.
Why Is Casino Owner Carl Icahn at Odds with Atlantic City’s Growth?
He has requested $5.6 million from New Jersey’s alternative investment tax fund to tear down the shuttered Trump Plaza Casino to make way for future investment. Some casino insiders believe that this could be ‘crucial for Atlantic City’s revitalization’ as mentioned by the local news outlet the Press of Atlantic City.
Will There Be Future Development On The Atlantic City’s Boardwalk?
Local government officials and other high-profile business people associated with Atlantic City are more than concerned with the price tag. However, no matter how unpopular this decision might be, the consensus among the casino experts closest to the situation appears to agree that any future development on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk could hinge on the state granting Mr. Icahn’s request.
Carl Icahn Assumed Control Of Donald Trump Entertainment Resorts’ Properties?
Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino were one of the current President’s casino empire long before he took residence in the White House. He divested his holdings in this property before it closed for good in 2014. The report on Casino News Daily mentions how the following year Carl Icahn assumed control of Trump Entertainment Resorts’ properties both operational and closed through his company Icahn Enterprises. A second Atlantic City Trump casino, Trump Taj Mahal met the same fate in 2016. Also, Tthis is when Mr. Icahn first started to draw some serious heat from the local community in a move that cost the economy even more casino jobs.
Plans To Tear Down The Trump Plaza In Atlantic City
Early last year, plans were presented to tear down part of Trump Plaza to open up future investment opportunities in the boardwalk area. The price tag to put this plan into place was an estimated $13 million and change. Mr. Icahn then petitioned New Jersey for some of this cost to be covered by the alternative investment tax to the tune of close to $6 million.
Must Pay 1.25 % Tax On Real Money Gambling Revenue
As reported by Casino News Daily, under local casino laws, any casino residing in Atlantic City is required to pay a 1.25 percent tax on their total real money gambling revenue. Proceeds from this fund have traditionally been earmarked for non-gaming improvements at AC’s casino resorts. Recent regulatory changes have directed that the money in this fund should also go towards paying down Atlantic City’s mounting debt.
New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority
His request has received provisional approval from the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. It will still require an additional vote among the members of the authority for final approval. Some of the arguments against approval state that the money should use for non-gaming improvements at Mr. Icahn’s operational casinos such as Tropicana Atlantic City.
Some of the more vocal opposition has come from New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney. Most importantly, this reflects the resentment still harbored against Mr. Icahn for the 4000 jobs that were lost when Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal closed their doors.
Carl Icahn is a famous investor who has many business interests in casino resorts. On his Wikipedia page, it says that he is also a philanthropist in addition to being an American Businessman. Mr. Icahn became famous in the 1980s for making a profit from hostile takeovers, which earned him the name “corporate raider”. According to Forbes magazine, Carl Icahn’s net world in 2017 was almost seventeen billion dollars. With that high of a net worth, he is allegedly the twenty-sixth wealthiest person in the Forbes 400. Also, he holds the rank as the fifth most wealthy hedge fund manager.