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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