The failure of the "Taj Mahal"

Why would it be a reason for 45’s casino’s bankruptcy? He seems like an idiot. Idiots are the best customers of casinos.


It comes down to the kind of idiot. There were a number of factors involved with the Taj Mahal going belly-up, but one was how Dolt-45 handled the resort part of the casino resort.*

After over-paying Merv Griffin for the unfinished property to satisfy his ego, he followed up by over-spending (as is his wont) on gaudy excess, allowing his then-wife Ivana to go wild. After all, he had to have the best, really the most luxurious (believe me) hotel rooms, restrooms, hallways, ballrooms, restaurants, bars, theatres, acts, etc. so he could brag about them in the tabloids and on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

Now in Vegas or Macau that kind of investment can work, because the idiots who go there to blow their money away are affluent idiots who like to be pampered during the short periods when they’re not gambling. It makes sense to go overboard on the resort part because the casino is bringing in big money.

The typical Atlantic City degenerate gambler, on the other hand, is like the slob in the video. The Taj Mahal could have demolished the hotel and restaurants and the theatre, set up army cots and porta-potties in the parking garage and offered leftovers from the local McD’s and expired kegs of PBR and this skell (assuming he slept there overnight instead of on the train) would have been happy as a clam long as he could play the nickel slots and (if he was feeling really lucky) the $5 blackjack tables for hours on end.

So you had a casino catering to extremely low-stakes low-lifes (who were not getting comped on rooms and food and shows) and an expensively renovated and maintained hotel/resort that none of them were using. AC hasn’t been a tourist destination either, not for a long time.

And that is part of the story of how the biggest idiot of them all accomplished the amazing feat of driving a casino-resort into bankruptcy slightly over a year after it opened.

[* The casino itself had other issues: Donny once again didn’t do his homework, this time about the new native-American casinos being built in the tri-state area (whoops!); and he also lost the entire casino management team in a single air crash (keyman? what’s that?). There was also the matter of the unsustainable junk bond financing]


This is both educational and fucking hilarious. Thank you!


Griffin bought the Paradise Island Resort and Casino in the Bahamas for US$400 million from Trump, somewhere in the 1980ies IIRC, but he later sold it for about US$125 million.
Which doesn’t necessarily mean that Griffin lost money at the bottom line; there can be quite some creative accounting in big international real estate deals.

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IIRC that was part of their battle over control of Resorts International, which was a mess of back-and-forth trades of properties. In the case the Taj Mahal which occured near the end of that mess, Il Douche was obsessed with having it and Griffin only told him how eager he had been to unload it after the deal was effectively done.

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Ⱦrump was caught flat-footed and overleveraged when Reagan signed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, and he spent most of the next 10 years waging an ugly battle against Native American casinos. The tactics he used- vilification, false testimony, clandestine smear campaigns, are starkly similar to his 2016 presidential rhetoric. The Financial Times wrote a great article that details the whole sordid mess.


Anyone else in 1989 would have seen the writing on the wall about how motivated the Native Americans were about opening casinos in the area and how that would turn AC into even more of a seedy pit (exactly the kind of place that attracts only cheap day-drinking bums who shave on trains). But not this narcissist, he had to drive himself into ruinous debt to put his name on the Taj and make it “classy.”

Then, when things went bad because of his own bungling he tried to blame everyone else. At that time he was using appearances on Stern and Imus (his preferred media venues in the 1990s) to make blatantly racist statements about Native Americans opening casinos like Foxwoods.


Re: battle over control of Resorts International

Epic battle!
Made its way into trade magazines across the pond.


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