Donald Trump's Taj Mahal Casino Resort, which he billed as the eighth wonder of the world when it opened 10 months ago, plans to seek bankruptcy protection in April, casino regulators say.
The Taj is also up for license renewal April 26 and the Casino Control Commission must consider its long-term financial health, commission spokeswoman Carol Kokotajlo said.At a hearing Tuesday, Trump's lawyers said they plan to present a debt restructuring plan - a "prepackaged bankruptcy settlement - at an April 6 hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Camden. The casino hopes to borrow another $75 million to help cover payments on its $800 million debt load.
The commission will continue its hearing after the Taj goes to court.
Trump's three Atlantic City casinos, his airlines and several real estate properties have had trouble meeting interest payments on a total of about $4 billion in debt.
A report by the commission's Division of Financial Evaluation suggested that the plan would keep the Taj afloat through next year, generating enough cash to meet debt payments of $118 million. But the Taj's longterm prospects in the crowded Atlantic City market are shakier, analysts suggested.
The Taj, twice the size of other casinos, opened with great fanfare on April 2. But the casino has failed to lure enough gamblers to generate the cash needed to pay off creditors.