Crucial ruling due Friday on future of Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal casino

Economic Indicators Associated Press

A federal bankruptcy court judge in Delaware will issue what the owners of Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort consider a life-or-death decision for the troubled gambling hall.

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Trump Entertainment Resorts and billionaire investor Carl Icahn want the judge to cancel the casino's union contract, saying it can't survive without shedding costly pension and health care obligations.

If Friday's ruling goes against the company, it is expected to announce that it will close the Taj Mahal on Nov. 13.

The company and Icahn have a plan to save the casino that involves the billionaire acquiring ownership and pumping $100 million into it.

But that is contingent on significant union givebacks and massive amounts of government aid — neither of which is guaranteed.