Trump Casinos Under New Ownership After Bankruptcy Court Decision

July 15th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

There are three casinos in Atlantic City with the name Trump on them.  While that name will remain on the outside of the building and be referred to as such, ownership has now changed over to bondholders.

On Wednesday afternoon, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission allowed the group of holder’s to take over of the management of the resort-style casinos in the country’s second-largest gambling market.

Avenue Capital spearheaded the campaign to take over management of the casinos/

“We believe that five years from now, that equity (will be) worth a huge amount of money,” Avenue Capital CEO Marc Lasry said. “That’s the bet we’re making. The biggest issue Trump had was it was just massively over-leveraged.”

“I’m nervous about it,” he admitted. “I’m also excited. It’s a phenomenal opportunity. But at the same time, there’s a lot of challenges. I hope we will be able to do a good job.”

In a bankruptcy court, a judge gave the green light to Avenue Capital rather than business tycoon Carl Icahn, though Icahn has made the move to appeal the decision.

Linda Kassekert, a member of the New Jersey Commission said that she will greet Avenue Capital with open arms as they come to Atlantic City.

“At a time when others believe Atlantic City’s best days are behind her, Avenue Capital sees opportunity. It sees potential,” she said. “We share the vision of a healthy future for the casino industry here.”

The Bankruptcy court hearing cut the debt of the casinos from $1.8 billion, to $334 million.

“Eighty percent of that debt is going away,” Lasry stated. “Eighty percent of the customers have not gone away. We think there’s a huge upside.”

This is just one of the events to occur in Atlantic City over the course of the last several weeks.  Recent, Atlantic City casinos rejected the notion to potentially set up New Jersey Online Casinos for each casino that they could run.

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