Most stories about presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump involve him profiting off some group of people’s misery. So you knew it would be only a matter of time before one of them would be about Atlantic City, the gambling addiction hotline capital of America.
A New York Times investigation reported on Saturday that Trump has been wreaking havoc on the Jersey Shore resort town for 25 years with his “business acumen.” As properties like Trump Plaza Casino and Hotel and the Trump Marina Hotel Casino lost money and eventually shuttered, the man behind the brand made millions by shifting personal debts onto investors and the casinos, ripping off local contractors, and inflating expectations (lying).
The Times reports:
[A] close examination of regulatory reviews, court records and security filings by The New York Times leaves little doubt that Mr. Trump’s casino business was a protracted failure. Though he now says his casinos were overtaken by the same tidal wave that eventually slammed this seaside city’s gambling industry, in reality he was failing in Atlantic City long before Atlantic City itself was failing.
The investigation also suggests that Trump’s Atlantic City casinos were never meant to last:
“Mr. Trump assembled his casino empire by borrowing money at such high interest rates—after telling regulators he would not—that the business had almost no chance to succeed.”
The only remaining Trump asset on the shore, now under new ownership, is the Trump Taj Mahal Casino. If the Times’ bleak description is anything to go by, Trump Taj sounds more like a nice laundromat than a vacation destination: “The carpets are frayed and dust-coated chandeliers dangle above the few customers there to play the penny slot machines.”
Trump has invoked the “success” of his Atlantic City casinos repeatedly on the campaign trail, arguing that somehow being able to run chichi gambling dens prepares one for the United States presidency.
Did Trump not expect anyone to investigate his claim that he is one of the only people to have ever made money off Atlantic City casinos? I guess?