Carl Icahn, a billionaire investor in failed Atlantic City casinos, is in the media again for the 1st of April 2015. He is still telling media and lawmakers that the Union costs are at least partially responsible for the demise four Atlantic City casinos. Local 54 of the United Here Union is a problem according to Icahn.
The new comments from Icahn came after Bob McDevitt, the union president, stated that Icahn is just trying to make more money to line his pockets. Icahn made a statement that McDevitt is neglecting the casinos and caused a third of them to close their doors which is a loss of jobs for the city. According to Icahn the casinos could have been saved if the union was charging less for certain things like insurance for employees. Icahn further stated that McDevitt is just trying to make the casino owners the scapegoat when it reality it is just the amount of debt being accrued because of union fees.
At least one of the casinos, Showboat Atlantic City, was profitable and closed by parent company Caesar’s Entertainment Corp. to lessen competition for its other three Atlantic City casinos. The first casino that closed was the Atlantic Club, in January 2013. It was purchased by Caesar’s and Icahn’s Tropicana for $23.4 million with various physical assets going to each company. They reportedly purchased the casino to make sure another wouldn’t open in its place. Revel cost more than $2 billion to build and never turned a profit in its short lifetime. Icahn has threatened to close Trump Taj Mahal if a union appeal of the termination of union workers’ health and pension coverage is successful.