Donald Trump says elect him president in November and he’ll make America great again and he'll use his business acumen to do it.
This claim has propelled his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, much to the surprise of some Republicans and his critics on the left.
But a Washington Post investigation revels that in the 1980s, when Trump pitched his casino plans to New Jersey gaming regulators, he overstated his resources.
And not everyone was happy with the results.
According to the Post, Trump assured gaming regulators at a 1988 hearing that his reputation would secure him the necessary financing to complete the Taj Mahal. He told regulators he could get loans at prime rates from commercial banks, rather than junk bonds.
Trump told regulators, "I get it done, and everybody is happy and it turns out successfully."
But while Trump did get his casino license, the promised prime rates never materialized, forcing Trump to use junk bonds to complete the Taj Mahal. Theos bonds came with a 14 percent interest rate to raise $675 million, according to the Post.
The Taj Mahal opened in 1990. By March 1991, Trump was behind on payments on $1.1 billion in loans across his companies. A few months later the Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy.
Here is the link to read Robert O'Harrow Jr.'s story in the Washington Post - Trump's bad bet: How too much debt drove his biggest casino aground.
Donald Trump has even threatened to sue the Washington Post over the story, according to The Wrap.
Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business Magazine, witnessed Donald Trump’s rise and exit from Atlantic City.
"I think you have to look at what he is saying about his business career," Gros said, "How successful he's been. How many millions of dollars he has earned over the years and just look at what happened in Atlantic City and there are a few holes in that argument."
According to Gros, Trump is partially responsible for why the economy fell apart in Atlantic City.
"He had to make a million dollars a day, which again in those days was unheard of, and of course after a few months, he didn't make it and he drove that hotel into bankruptcy," he explained.
Gros said the way Trump conducted his gaming business in Atlantic City was different than the casino moguls in Las Vegas, like Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn.
"Donald really got as much as he could out of his properties, kind of squeezed them to make as much money and then walk away," Gros said, "Whereas Wynn and Adelson develop the properties created loyalty from customers and did things the way it should be done."
Roger Gros, publisher, Global Gaming Business Magazine
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