Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal Fights to Keep Trump Name

Trump Entertainment has removed Donald Trump’s name from the closed Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City, but is resisting a move by Trump to have his name taken off the Trump Taj Mahal. Trump—who owns less than 10 percent of Trump Entertainment—wants the name removed saying it is hurting his brand. Trump Entertainment officials have responded in court by saying they have enough problems at the Taj without having to fight to defend their name.

Donald Trump wants his name off Atlantic City casinos and has had it removed from the closed Trump Plaza.

But removing it from the Trump Taj Mahal, which is still open for the moment, may not be so easy.

The casino’s owners Trump Entertainment—Donald Trump owns less than 10 percent of the company—have filed a response to a lawsuit seeking the name removal saying the lawsuit is just complicating matters for the struggling casino—which is in bankruptcy—and they do not want to fight just to use their own name.

Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump are suing Trump Entertainment to have the name removed at the Taj Mahal. They charge that Trump Entertainment has allowed the property to deteriorate badly that it is hurting the Trump brand.

Ivanka Trump told the Associated Press that she and her father “vehemently disagree” with Trump Entertainment.

“The company has been in default of the standards for both the Plaza and at the Taj as well,” she said. “They had a similar benchmark, and they did not live up to the standards we agreed to. Both the standards were not met.”

Trump Entertainment is in the process of taking the Trump name off the closed Plaza, but has filed a brief in federal bankruptcy court calling Donald Trump’s suit “baseless and value-destructive” litigation.

“The debtors face many challenges, and the last thing these chapter 11 cases can afford is the significant expense, distraction and uncertainty of state court litigation over whether the debtors can preserve the very name under which they do business,” the company wrote.

Trump Entertainment is fighting to keep the Taj Mahal open. A bankruptcy judge has allowed the casino to end its union contract at the casino and Trump Entertainment is now seeking $175 million in state and local government assistance to help it stay open.

If it receives the aid, it will open the door to billionaire Carl Icahn stepping in with a plan to acquire the Taj Mahal and invest $100 million into it. Otherwise, it may close the casino on Nov. 13.

In their lawsuit, Donald and Ivanka Trump say they hired a quality control expert to evaluate the Plaza and the Taj Mahal. They say both properties failed the evaluation which would invalidate a licensing agreement the company had to use the Trump name on its properties, according to the AP.

Trump Entertainment, however, counters that the quality control expert never gave the Taj Mahal a failing grade and that Donald Trump and his daughter do “not present a shred of evidence that they have suffered any monetary or other actual harm as a result of TER’s alleged conduct.”

The company also said it met with representatives of the Trumps last November to lay out a Taj Mahal improvement plan it began implementing with their knowledge and encouragement, the AP said.