Atlantic City’s former Trump Plaza casino is likely to remain closed for at least 10 years following a judge’s approval Thursday of a deed restriction prohibiting anyone from re-opening it as a casino.
Delaware bankruptcy court Judge Kevin Gross approved the deed restriction imposed by Trump Entertainment Resorts on the former casino, which shut down on Sept. 16, the last of four Atlantic City casinos to do so last year.
The restriction prevents anyone from re-opening Trump Plaza as a casino for 10 years, although it could be used for a non-gambling purpose. It was done to avoid potentially higher taxes under a bill Gov. Chris Christie could sign soon allowing casinos to make payments in lieu of taxes for 15 years.
The bill applies to any property that was licensed to operate as a casino in 2014 and that does not have a deed restriction. Trump Plaza operated for 8½ months during 2014, and the company feared it might be included in the alternative tax program.
The company already has appealed its 2014 and 2015 property taxes and believes it can get a better deal through that appeal than if it were forced to participate in the PILOT program. Once the PILOT plan is enacted, assuming Christie signs it into law, casinos would be prohibited from appealing their property taxes.
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