) -- Billionaire Carl Icahn is betting on Atlantic City -- and its beleaguered casinos -- even as the gambling hub remains one of the worst performing in the sector.
Icahn has agreed to purchase a majority of the first-lien bank debt of Trump Entertainment Resorts, which owns three casinos in Atlantic City. Icahn is looking to team up with
to create a restructuring plan to help the casino emerge from bankruptcy.
"This conservative approach, which is the path suggested by the Beal Plan, combined with an experienced operator, will create the best outcome for all stakeholders, including customers, employees and Atlantic City itself," Icahn said in a statement.
Icahn said that a plan proposed by the bondholders and backed by casino founder Donald Trump was riskier.
Trump Entertainment filed for bankruptcy protection in February, its third filing since the company's inception. Trump Entertainment owns Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and Trump Marina Hotel Casino.
Revenue in Atlantic City fell 13.4% in November from last year, according to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.
Borgata, which is co-owned by
, saw its revenue tank 8% to $52.5 million during the month.
Not only is the area hard pressed due to consumer pullback, but also from increased competition in surrounding areas like Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Penn National Gaming
is one of the casino operators stealing market share from Atlantic City.
But Icahn's faith in the area might be a sign of hope for other casinos operating in New Jersey.
"Despite the current problems in Atlantic City I continue to have great faith in the city's future," Icahn said in a statement.
Last month Icahan outbid Penn for bankrupt Las Vegas casino Fountainebleau.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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