Donald Trump must be crying in his beer right about now. In fact, the state of NJ must be wondering if it’s suffering under the curse of John Patrick’s hokey books as it loses yet ANOTHER casino on that gorgeous *cough* boardwalk. On Tuesday, September 16, 2014, Trump Plaza, after 30 years of operation, closed its doors for good. This makes four casinos that have now closed in the Garden State and this one was the worst performing of all of them. Donald, maybe somebody should fire YOU.
So why all the casino closings? What’s the deal? After all, don’t people still dream the dream of hitting it big on the slots or not getting caught counting cards at the blackjack table?
Several factors have contributed to the decline of NJ casinos. One is the expansion of gambling in nearby states. The other is the explosion of online gambling which seems to be taking over the whole world. Why travel countless miles to find a casino when you can gamble from the comfort of your own home with nothing more than an Internet connection?
But back to NJ.
This glorious state started the year with 12 casinos. Their magic number is now down to a big old eight. The state has lost, in addition to Trump Plaza, The Atlantic Club, The Showboat and The Revel. And news on the grapevine says that The Taj Mahal might be closing its doors sometime in November. Before you know it, people in NJ will have to find something else to do with their time.
Maybe lottery ticket sales will start to go up.
So what’s the cost of all these closings? Aside from the income lost to education, about 8,000 people have lost their jobs since these closings have begun. The Trump Plaza closing has accounted for about 1,000 of those workers.
But good old Donald isn’t packing it in just yet. He recently told the press that after the company declares bankruptcy, he’s going to seriously consider buying it back if it looks like it makes financial sense.
He’s joking, right?
This, after he just recently tried to get his name removed from the properties.
No folks, you can’t make this stuff up.
But what’s really important are all the heartbreaking stories coming out this week of people losing their jobs and filing for unemployment, like Yomari Bianco who was employed by the casino for 18 years or Theresa Volpe who was a cocktail waitress for 26 years. These people are now out of work and looking for jobs as are the other 998 Trump Plaza employees.
That’s the sad part.
And it’s not going to get better folks. With the increased competition from neighboring states and online gambling, NJ casinos may be in for even tougher times in the months and years to come.