Donald Trump applies for planning permission to add White House to casino empire

author avatar by 8 years ago

With Donald Trump’s efforts to become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee continuing apace, his dream of a White House casino are looking increasingly likely.

When the American election rolls around on the 8th November, after months of campaigning, canvassing, and sometimes controversial behaviour, this business leader turned reality TV star could become the proprietor of the most famous casino in Washington DC.

Born in 1946, in New York to Frederick C. and Mary MacLeod, Trump was the fourth of five children. His father, an extremely wealthy businessman who dealt in real estate, provided Trump with the starting point from which to launch his own lucky career as a property developer.

By 2004, Trump was a TV personality, appearing on NBC’s The Apprentice. However, there is another strand to Trump’s business affairs – casinos. During the decade between the mid 1980s and the mid 1990s, Trump was to undertake a series of casino projects in Atlantic City, each one a reflection of his personality and his approach to business. After taking a look at the real story behind Donald Trump’s casino empire there maybe reason to doubt his presidential candidacy. Before making a snap decision here are the leisure gambling facilities the man’s name is synonymous with.

Trump Plaza (1984)

According to an article on, initially wary of the risk of building a casino before being granted a casino licence, Trump eventually teamed up with Holiday Inns, Inc. on this project. Costing some $210 million, with building work beginning in 1982, Trump Plaza was Atlantic City’s tallest building (at 39 floors) when it opened in May 1984. It also boasted Atlantic City’s largest casino, at an impressive 60,000 square foot.

Trump Castle (1985)

A year after opening Trump Plaza, Donald Trump opened Trump Castle; it seems the brash billionaire had developed a taste for casinos. Set apart from Atlantic City’s main casino drag, Trump Castle was situated in the Marina District and the venue didn’t seem to have the same lucrative appeal as its predecessor. It was renamed Trump Marina in 1987 and then sold in 2011 during one of Trump’s famous bankrupt periods.

Trump Taj Mahal (1990)

In early 1990, Trump Taj Mahal opened on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk to much fanfare with Michael Jackson performing. Trump had bought a controlling steak of the company in 1987 for some $79 million and now was the time for him to take to the helm. For over two decades the casino and associated resort facilities thrived, and until the opening of The Borgata in 2003, the Taj Mahal could lay claim to being the city’s highest grossing casino. The establishment went bankrupt in 2014.

Trump World’s Fair (1996)

Originally opening in 1981 as a Playboy venue, Trump bought Trump World’s Fair in 1996 and ran it for some three years. The building was razed to the ground in 2000. Almost everyone who owned the building had had trouble with it and Trump was no exception. Having invested almost $50 million in it as an addition to neighbouring Trump Plaza, Trump was soon losing around $10 million a year.

Although Trump has made much of his business acumen during his bid for presidency, in fact, this man who comes from extremely privileged beginnings has proven himself capable of repeatedly making very bad business choices. Only time will tell whether or not his latest gamble will pay off.