New York Post New Jersey’s Atlantic City continues to roll snake eyes.
The Trump Taj Mahal, the 24-year-old Boardwalk casino, has recently broken some of its loan covenants, and without a quick deal with its creditors could be headed for a Chapter 11 reorganization within days, The Post has learned.
So far, talks between Trump Entertainment Resorts — which owns the Taj and its neighbor, the soon-to-close Trump Plaza — and its creditors have not found an out-of-court solution, sources said.
There was hope around the negotiation table that Carl Icahn, who owns much of the Trump Entertainment debt, would agree to convert that debt into equity and keep the 2,248-room hotel-casino out of Chapter 11.
That hope now appears to have faded.
“As cheap as these hotels are, they are not bargains,” a source close to the situation said.
Atlantic City has had nothing but bad news this year. It started 2014 with 12 casinos — but when the Trump Plaza closes on Sept. 16 after the Miss America pageant, there will be just eight remaining.
Marc Lasry’s Avenue Capital in 2009 led a group of hedge funds that bought Trump Entertainment out of bankruptcy, beating a competing offer from Icahn.
Donald Trump retained a less than 10 percent stake.
Avenue and Icahn spokesmen declined comment. Trump Entertainment did not return emails seeking comment.
The Taj had a slight operating loss in the first six months of the year, according to Imperial Capital analyst Gregg Klein.
Trump Entertainment is working with restructuring adviser Houlihan Lokey, sources said.
The Taj until recently employed roughly 5,000 people. Already, roughly 6,000 people have lost their AC jobs as the Revel, Showboat and the Atlantic Club casinos have closed — to be followed by the Trump Plaza in 12 days.
Competition from casinos in Delaware and Pennsylvania is eroding traffic.
The Taj, with nearly 150,000 square feet of gambling space, is the second-largest casino in the seaside resort.
The casino closings will have “a big impact on Jersey Shore businesses five or six miles away,” longtime Atlantic City worker Curtis Kugel told The Post.
There will be more store closings in nearby Egg Harbor Township and Pleasantville, he predicted.
The Taj’s trouble, of course, may not be the last of the bad news for AC.
“There is a real good chance [others] could be forced to file,” Klein told The Post.
Separately, the unsecured debt of casino owner Caesars has fallen from 50 cents on the dollar at the beginning of the summer to 25 cents more recently, sources said.
Caesars owners Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital last year split the chain into three companies — including one with faster-growing online assets and another with troubled brick-and-mortar casino operations.