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Trump Sues Casinos to Get Conditions Fixed or Name Off

Trump Taj Mahal
The Trump Taj Mahal building stands in Atlantic City, on July 17, 2014. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg

Donald Trump sued two Atlantic City casinos that he no longer operates to force their owner either to improve “appalling” conditions or remove his name in a market where gamblers are fleeing and bankruptcies are rising.

Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino and Trump Taj Mahal fail to meet industry standards for cleanliness, hotel services and food and beverages, according to a complaint filed yesterday in state court in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Trump wants a judge to compel Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., which he once controlled, to correct the shortcomings or jettison his name.

The Trump Entertainment Resorts website includes his photograph above this quote: ``The Trump casinos in Atlantic City are among the finest and most luxurious resorts you'll find anywhere in the world. I personally invite you to experience everything that we have to offer.'' Trump Plaza is set to close Sept. 16, putting 1,000 people out of work.

“Since Mr. Trump left Atlantic City many years ago, the licensee entities have allowed the casino properties to fall into an utter state of disrepair and have otherwise failed to operate and manage the casino properties in accordance with the high standards of quality and luxury required,” Trump’s lawyers said in the complaint.

Trump’s salvo reflects mounting distress over the seaside resort town, which has lost gamblers as rival casinos open in neighboring states. The Atlantic Club closed in January and Caesars Entertainment Corp. will shut the Showboat on Aug. 31.

Revel Auction

Revel, the $2.4 billion mirrored-glass casino that was supposed to usher in a resurgence for Atlantic City, is moving through its second bankruptcy. Revel plans to hold an auction tomorrow in hopes of pitting bidders against one another to generate the best possible offer and resuscitate the resort.

Trump, 68, is moving to protect the name he built as a real estate developer, television personality, author and operator of hotels and golf courses. He obtained his gaming license in 1983, and once ran three Atlantic City casinos. He signed an agreement in July 2010 to license his name to the Trump Plaza and the Taj Mahal, according to the complaint.

A third-party consultant, LRA Worldwide Inc., monitored conditions through “regular quality control reviews and assessments,” according to the complaint. LRA’s compliance score for the Plaza was 83.4 percent in January 2011, 70 percent in September 2012 and 65 percent last month, Trump alleged.

`Deplorable Quality'

News reports and online reviews detailed “the deplorable quality of the services, guest rooms, and other facilities” at the casinos, Trump claimed.

Brian Cahill, a spokesman for Trump Entertainment Resorts, didn’t immediately return an e-mail and calls seeking comment.

Through his company, Trump AC Casino Marks LLC, Trump asked a judge to declare that the casinos have caused “irreparable harm” and breached their licensing agreement. He wants a judge to order compliance with the licensing agreement or terminate the accords and stop using his name.

The case is Trump AC Casino Marks v. Trump Entertainment Resorts, Superior Court of New Jersey (Atlantic City).

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