Trump's Tantrum

Donald Trump is done with the casino business. For now, at least.

On Friday, he and daughter Ivanka -- co-stars of The Celebrity Apprentice, NBC's unintended business comedy -- resigned from the board of Trump Entertainment Resorts. Then, earlier today, the company filed bankruptcy papers in New Jersey.

At issue was ownership. Trump had been a minority owner of his namesake casino empire since a bankruptcy restructuring five years ago. Today, he owns roughly 33% of the company, reports Capital IQ. He wanted to own it outright.

Trump told The Associated Press that he offered to buy Trump Entertainment, but that its bondholders balked. Bankruptcy, it seems, was the better offer. Is The Donald really so ruthless a negotiator that going to court seems more palatable? Apparently.

Trump wasn't exactly pleased by the board's decision. "If I’m not going to run it, I don’t want to be involved in it," Trump told the AP in an interview.

So be it. Take your chips and go to Foxwoods, Donald. You never really liked this business, anyway. Your empire has more in common with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin than it does with MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM  ) , Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS  ) , or Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN  ) .

And let's be honest: Trump Entertainment never needed you the way that Penn National Gaming (Nasdaq: PENN  ) needs CEO Peter Carlino. You're the guy who brokered a 2004 deal in which The Trump Organization -- that's right, your privately held, billion-dollar construction company -- was named chief contractor for needed body work on your casino properties. Cash in left pocket? Meet my soon-to-be-not-so-empty right pocket.

Call it a bankrupt strategy for a sadly yet unsurprisingly thrice-bankrupt company. Goodbye, Donald. You won't be missed.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers also writes for Rule Breakers. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy prefers a clean shave to a comb-over.


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2009, at 3:54 PM, ByrneShill wrote:

    Trump's way to do business borders on criminality. I don't know why anyone would want to be involved with him. I sure as hell wouldn'T trust him with a penny of mine.

  • Report this Comment On February 20, 2009, at 6:20 PM, docdevious wrote:

    the art of the schlemiel!

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