Donald Trump: 'Atlantic City going bust? Totally my fault'

As another city is on the brink of going insolvent, someone has finally stepped forward and accepted responsibility: US Alan Sugar-alike Donald Trump.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 15 Mar 2016

As another US city teeters on the brink of insolvency, at least someone has the guts to accept responsibility. Step forward Donald Trump: golfing tycoon, professional combover, bankrupter of cities.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, he admitted things had started to go wrong for the city when he stopped investing in its local hotel and casino industry.

'A lot of people say when I left, that's when it went bad,' he said. 'In one way I'm honoured by that statement. But in another way I feel badly.' With unemployment in the city at more than 13% and 32,000 casino jobs at risk, we bet he does.

Atlantic City, New Jersey, is a kind of Las Vegas for the northern states of the US: 70% of the tax take in the city comes from casinos. But seven years after the longest recession since the 1930s, many of its hotels and casinos have yet to recover, and a number of closures have caused concern. Last month, credit ratings agency Moody's downgraded the city's debt to junk.

Trump left Atlantic City 'about eight years ago', and earlier this month sued to have his name removed from two casinos, the Trump Plaza and the Trump Taj Mahal, telling the Associated Press 'it's not us. It's not me'.

On Bloomberg Television, though, he seemed pretty relaxed, saying he has a 'warm spot' for the city. 

'It's a very sad situation. Just too much competition. It does have one very big advantage of sitting on the ocean. I've always had great success on oceans, rivers or lakes. It's really hard to blow it.' 'Blow it' as in that time you had to ditch your plans for a golf club on the coast of Scotland because of an uppity council, you mean, Donald...?


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