Trump Entertainment Resorts settles claims from former online gambling partners

Industries Associated Press

Trump Entertainment Resorts is finalizing its messy divorce from two former online gambling partners.

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The bankrupt casino company filed court documents Thursday spelling out settlements it reached with Betfair and Ultimate Gaming.

The deals clarify who will get money remaining in certain accounts following the companies' termination of their online relationship with the Trump Taj Mahal and the former Trump Plaza. The firms began refunding player accounts in October.

The company's settlement with Betfair, which was aligned with Trump Plaza, specifies that Betfair owns its customer data, and can use data it jointly owns with Trump Plaza for its own commercial purposes.

Trump Entertainment said in its filing the two settlements will give it access to about $1.4 million that it can use to pay other expenses, and for its own operations. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who is Trump Entertainment's main lender, approved of the settlements. He would acquire the company in return for canceling $286 million of its debt that he owns, but only if the Trump Entertainment gets significant tax breaks from state and local governments, and if its main union drops an appeal of court-ordered cost-cutting measures.

The company is threatening to close the Taj Mahal, its lone remaining casino, on Dec. 12.

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Betfair will continue to hold a $700,000 unsecured claim against Trump Entertainment in its ongoing bankruptcy case.

Betfair has since aligned itself with the Golden Nugget, while Ultimate Gaming has withdrawn from the New Jersey and Nevada markets.

Internet gambling is off to a slow start in New Jersey, one of three states in the nation to offer it, along with Nevada and Delaware. New Jersey online gambling sites took in $111 million in their first year — about a tenth of what many expected.

Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC