It was a sad day for the suffering Atlantic City casino industry as it lost its 5th property on Monday, October 10, 2016. The lights of the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino officially went out for the final time at 5:59 am.
Pete Battaglini, an employee of the casino since day one said, "It's a very sad day. I never thought I would see this."
The casino floor had lost all of its dealers and other staff members, all part of the UNITE Here Local 54 union, as they went on strike over health benefits and other cutbacks as of July 1st.
Charles "Chuck" Baker, a 26-year cook at the casino, said, "They stripped us of our health care, our severance, and deducted our half-hour break from our check.”
Unfortunately, the powers that be were unwilling to budge and opted to close the doors leaving 3,000 people without jobs.
"The company only came to the table and offered something when the workers threatened to strike," said union member Ben Begleiter. "They didn't even respond to the last offer a month ago."
On Sunday there were still loyal patrons on the casino floor and only 10 remained an hour before the casino closed on Monday. Many of the slot machines were turned off so music came pouring out the speakers to drown out the deafening quiet.
There were several AC casino closures in 2014 including The Atlantic Club in January 2014, Showboat in August, and Revel and Trump Plaza in September.
There is a glimmer of hope for the boardwalk as Showboat’s gaming has not been reestablished but the hotel and restaurants are back and the word is Revel, renamed TEN, will soon open.
'After 26 years, Trump Taj Mahal casino folds', Lori M. Nichols, www.nj.com, October 10, 2016