Trump Entertainment's bankruptcy the latest sign Atlantic City is going bust

Posted at 9:36 AM, Sep 09, 2014

“Everything dies, baby that’s a fact / But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.”

New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen sang that in his 1982 anthem “Atlantic City,” and now it seems the city itself is banking on that hopeful lyric.

It was reported today that Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., which operates a pair of Atlantic City casinos, had filed for bankruptcy. The Donald Trump-founded outfit is following a line of other Atlantic City gaming giants that have gone bust this year.

The $2.6 Billion Revel resort closed Sept. 2, after only two years in operation. Casino giant Caesar’s Entertainment shut the doors on its Showboat resort on Sept. 1. Trump’s namesake Trump Plaza is set to close next week. According to CBS News, the closure of those three venues will leave about 7,000 people jobless.

That’s not including The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, which folded in January.

That leaves the once-thriving East Coast vacation destination with only eight casinos still standing—for now.

“The fact is, we have work to do,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told reporters Monday on the way to a closed-door meeting with Atlantic City leaders. Christie declined to comment further on the meeting’s agenda.

Casino revenue in Atlantic City topped $3.3 billion in 2011 but was at just over $2.8 billion in 2013, according to the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority. In 2012, several neighboring states passed legislation legalizing table games, leading to dozens of new casinos popping up.

In Maryland alone, casinos generated over $80 million last month, according to The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. A decade ago, it’s likely most of that money would have gone into Atlantic City’s coffers.

Today’s bankruptcy filing by Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. possibly signals the impending closure of the company’s Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. We reached out to the company for comment but haven’t received a reply.

“Down on the boardwalk, they’re gettin’ ready for a fight.”

When Springsteen sang that line, he didn’t know how right he was.

Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.