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Investigators Delve Into Taj’s Financial Status

From Associated Press

State casino investigators today expressed concern about the financial stability of Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal Casino Resort but said it is too early to accurately predict the gambling hall’s fate.

In a statement before the state Casino Control Commission, Deputy Atty. Gen. Thomas Auriemma said the Taj Mahal’s slot machine performance continues to lag and that a debt restructuring agreement reached with bondholders on Nov. 16 fails to reduce the gambling hall’s $675-million debt.

“The Taj Mahal is not reducing its overall debt,” Auriemma said.

Auriemma and Trump attorney Nicholas Ribis agreed that the commission can examine the restructuring agreement although its exact terms have yet to be finalized.

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He spoke as the casino commission began a hearing to examine the financial stability of the Taj, which opened last spring and is undergoing restructuring that will temporarily throw it into bankruptcy court.

If they conclude that the casino is financially unstable, the commission members could lift its license and appoint a conservator to operate it.

Trump himself was not at the hearing this morning. It is expected to last at least two days. The flamboyant developer, author of the best seller “The Art of the Deal,” has battled financial and marital problems for most of the year.


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