New Jersey lawmakers have passed a bill that punishes casino owners who shutter their doors with a five-year casino time out.

It’s a measure that’s aimed squarely at punishing Trump Taj Mahal owner Carl Icahn, who closed his casino at the height of a recent labor dispute with his employees. It’s generally believed that Icahn closed the Taj Mahal as a means of gaining leverage over local unions.

Under the terms of the bill, any casino license holder who shuts down an Atlantic City casino after January 2016 would be hit with a five-year casino license suspension. At this this time, Icahn would be the only person impacted by the law.

Not surprisingly, the bill is supported by New Jersey Democrats, including Democratic Senate president Steve Sweeney who described the bill to the Courier Post saying:

Casino owners shouldn’t be manipulating the system and exploiting bankruptcy laws as a way to break unions and take away the rights and benefits of the workers. Atlantic City’s gaming industry is obviously experiencing the difficult challenges of competition from other states, but the answer is not to engage in practices that punish the workers.

While the bill easily passed the NJ Senate by a 60-7 margin, it’s anything but a done deal. Besides having to pass in the State House, it also needs to survive a trip across the desk of reviled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Christie, who is an outspoken critic of the labor unions that were most impacted by the Icahn’s closure of the Trump Taj Mahal is expected to veto the measure, should it cross his desk.


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