Trump Entertainment Resorts has agreed to sell it s Trump...

Trump Entertainment Resorts has agreed to sell it s Trump Marina Hotel Casion to Texas-based Landry's Inc., which owns the Golden Nugget Las Vegas. (Undated) Credit: AP and Getty Images

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - In a sign of just how much value casinos in the nation's second-largest gambling market have lost in recent years, Trump Entertainment Resorts agreed yesterday to sell its Trump Marina Hotel Casino to the Texas-based parent company of the Golden Nugget Las Vegas and Laughlin for $38 million.

That's about a tenth of what Trump Entertainment was offering the casino for in 2008.

Landry's Inc., a Houston casino and restaurant company that recently abandoned its bid for the struggling Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort, plans to invest significantly in the Trump Marina and re-brand it as a Golden Nugget.

"Our plan is to transform the Trump Marina into a luxurious and exciting hotel and casino," said Tilman Fertitta, Landry's chairman, president and chief executive.

All 11 casinos in Atlantic City have struggled the past four years with the loss of nearly one-third of their business to the poor economy and new casinos in neighboring states. The deal brings the Golden Nugget brand back to Atlantic City, where it operated in a different building from 1980 to 1987.

"It's still a $3 billion-plus market," Fertitta said. "We wanted an East Coast presence. It's a large property, built in the 1980s with high ceilings and big spaces. We really didn't have that kind of space at the AC Hilton." The sale leaves Trump Entertainment Resorts, which emerged last summer from its third stint in bankruptcy court, with two Boardwalk casinos - its flagship trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and the older Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.

Trump Marina is located in the city's marina district, next to the Frank Farley Marina, which is included in the sale, and two of the city's top-performing casinos - the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and Harrah's Resort Atlantic City.

- AP

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