By Wayne Parry
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Atlantic City's crumbling casino market disintegrated even further this weekend as the owners of the Trump Plaza casino said they expect to shut down in mid-September.
Trump Entertainment Resorts told The Associated Press that no final decision has been made on the Boardwalk casino. But the company on Saturday said it expects the casino to close its doors Sept. 16.
Notices warning employees of the expected closing will go out to the casino's 1,000-plus workers Monday.
[Read: Trump Holds Upper Hand]
If Trump Plaza closes, Atlantic City could lose a third of its casinos and a quarter of its casino workforce in less than nine months. The Atlantic Club closed in January, the Showboat is closing next month, and Revel (REVEQ)
might do likewise if a buyer can't be found in bankruptcy court.
The head of Atlantic City's main casino workers' union demanded state lawmakers help head off what he called a "pending catastrophe" that will affect the state's tourism industry and tax collections.
Trump Entertainment Resorts told the AP that its managers and board of directors "have been reviewing alternatives for the property. Although this review has not been completed and no final decision has been made, the company expects that it will terminate the operations of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino on or shortly after September 16, 2014."
A source with direct knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak to the media told the AP that the company has hired a search firm to solicit buyers for Trump Plaza, an effort that remains ongoing. So far, no buyer has emerged.
The company did not indicate what might become of the building after it is closed.
Bob McDevitt, president of local 54 of the Unite-HERE union, said 7,000 casino workers -- or about one in four -- have been warned their jobs could disappear within 60 days.
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