Donald Trump eyes Vegas Casino amid Presidential Campaign

Donald Trump is currently the front-runner for the Republican Presidential nomination. But this doesn’t mean he’s put business behind him since Trump is also pondering a new Las Vegas casino.

The billionaire already owns the Vegas-based Trump Hotel, which cost $800 million to build and launched in 2008. Now his longtime friend, Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin, would like to partner with Trump to build a casino next to the massive hotel.

Fortune reports that plans are still in the early going, but the matter could accelerate later this year. Assuming the deal happens, the Trump Organization would be a 50% owner in the casino.

Donald’s son, Eric, who runs the family’s hotel business, likes Ruffin’s plan quite a bit.

“If he wanted to do [the casino], we would certainly do it,” said Eric Trump. “[Ruffin] is one of our closest friends. We’re almost inseparable.”

If the casino gets built, it would be put in a very large parking lot that the casino currently uses.

It’s been a while since Trump has truly been involved in the casino industry. He built a large portion of his real estate empire in Atlantic City, where several hotel-casinos sported his name. However, the 69-year-old severed ties with the city long ago. He even sued Trump Entertainment Resorts to get his name removed from their failing casinos.

Much of his stake in Trump Entertainment was lost due to multiple bankruptcies. However, given the skilled businessman that he is, Trump is still worth billions because he has other companies and properties that have been far more successful than his former Atlantic City holdings.

In news reported last year, Trump isn’t very popular among some Atlantic City residents because they feel that he abandoned the town. Atlantic City has seen their gaming revenue fall from a peak of $5.2 billion in 2006 to a new low of $2.4 billion in 2015.

As for Trump, building a casino in Las Vegas doesn’t seem like a bad decision. After all, Vegas has managed to make a strong comeback following the Great American Recession. Specifically, Sin City has done an excellent job at diversifying what they offer, from popular nightclubs to many different fine-dining options. This, in turn, has helped the casinos remain competitive even with more casinos springing up around the United States.