Trump and the Decline of the Middle Class Casino

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A Donald Trump-branded casino in New Jersey. What could be more middle class than that?

Viewed in that light, the chapter 11 bankruptcy filing Tuesday by Trump Entertainment Resorts (TRMY) should not be a surprise to anyone. It's just the latest example of the decline of the U.S. middle class, along with the struggles of retailers like J.C. Penney (JCP) and Sears (SHLD) .

Atlantic City-based casinos are in all kinds of pain. Revel Casino Hotel closed its doors Sept. 2 after a second bankruptcy filing, and Caesars Entertainment's (CZR) Showboat closed Aug. 31. 

Many blame competition from other states, and clearly that is part of the issue. But just look at the Northeast market other casino owners are targeting: upscale New York City residents and wealthy Asian tourists visiting the city, according to report in The New York Times on Tuesday.  

Faring better are upmarket Las Vegas casinos. That's what fueled second-quarter growth at Wynn Resorts (WYNN)  , for example. The company's Las Vegas operations saw 12.5% net revenue growth when it reported second quarter numbers on July 29.

Calls to Trump were referred to Michael Cohen, executive vice president of the the Trump Organization and special counsel to Trump. Cohen said Trump wasn't available to answer questions, and Cohen declined to comment for the record beyond this emailed statement: "Mr. Trump brilliantly left Atlantic City more than 7 years ago and has not been back. Mr. Trump has absolutely nothing to do with Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. and is currently in a lawsuit seeking to have his name taken off the buildings."

Trump owns 10% of the shares of Trump Entertainment, according to Bloomberg.

An email to Trump Entertainment spokesman Brian Cahill wasn't returned.

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