Making America Worse: Jobs and Money at Trump Casinos, 1997-2010

21 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2016 Last revised: 8 Oct 2016

See all articles by Jonathan C. Lipson

Jonathan C. Lipson

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Date Written: September 24, 2016


This paper questions Donald Trump’s claim that his business success in creating jobs means that he can also create jobs as President. Using publicly available data, I find that, on average, Atlantic City casinos owned or controlled by Trump between 1997-2010 (the Taj Mahal, Marina, and Plaza) lost far more jobs and revenue than other Atlantic City casinos: 900 more jobs/casino and about $50 million more in revenue/casino. All Atlantic City casinos suffered losses in this period, when neighboring states licensed new gaming facilities, but Trump’s casinos lost about 37% more jobs and one-third more revenue than their rivals. The differences are statistically significant in a mixed model linear regression.

The Trump casinos used chapter 11 bankruptcy four times. That, itself, is a record, as no other large business has apparently done so more than three times. Despite repeatedly obtaining relief in bankruptcy, Trump’s casinos underperformed rivals in conditions analogous to those facing U.S. workers and companies: the loss of jobs and revenue due to “foreign” competition. Even as Trump casinos performed poorly and went through multiple bankruptcies, Trump continued to take significant amounts of money from those businesses for himself - including about $3.2 million per year from 2001-2005.

Trump claims he should be President based on his demonstrated ability to save jobs and make money. Using the best available evidence, this study finds that, when it came to doing so in the face of “foreign” threats, Trump’s Atlantic City casinos were not the “best,” and not even “average” - they were the worst.

Keywords: Trump, Bankruptcy, Jobs, Employment, Revenue, Chapter 11, Economy

JEL Classification: J00, K12, K22

Suggested Citation

Lipson, Jonathan C., Making America Worse: Jobs and Money at Trump Casinos, 1997-2010 (September 24, 2016). Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-47, Available at SSRN: or

Jonathan C. Lipson (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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