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Executives

Mark Juliano - Chief Executive Officer

John P. Burke – Executive Vice President, Interim Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Treasurer

Ravneet Bhandari - Senior Vice President of Revenue Management

Analysts

Dennis Ferro - Wachovia

Justin Sebastiano - Morgan Joseph

[Glenn Hamilton] - Private Investor

James Kayler - Banc of America Securities

Ryan Worst - Brean Murray

David Hargraves - KBC

[Beau Williams - Marathon]

Jane Pedreira - Lehman Bros.

Howard Bryerman - Evergreen Investments

Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. (TRMP) Q2 2008 Earnings Call August 7, 2008 11:00 AM ET

Operator

Welcome to Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. 2008 second quarter conference call. (Operator Instructions)

The company would like listeners to note that certain information discussed by management during today’s call regarding the company’s operations, financial results, plans, expectations, estimates and beliefs as well as other statements including words such as ‘anticipate’, ‘believe’, ‘plan’, ‘estimate’, ‘expect’, ‘intend’, ‘will’, ‘could’ and other similar expressions constitute forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act which provides a safe harbor for such statements so long as they are accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those projected in such forward-looking statements.

In connection with any said statements, there are various factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those contained in such forward-looking statements and are subject to significant business, economic, competitive, regulatory, and other uncertainties and contingencies all of which are difficult and/or impossible to predict or control.

Accordingly, there can be no assurance that such forward-looking statements will be realized. Listeners are also advised that developments subsequent to today’s call are likely to cause these statements to become outdated with the passage of time or other factors which are unforeseeable or beyond the company’s control. The company does not intend to update guidance provided during today’s call prior to its next press release or conference call unless otherwise required to do so.

Listeners should consider these facts in evaluating the information provided during today’s conference call and should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements made during today’s call. Additional information concerning the potential risk factors that could affect the company’s future performance are described from time to time in the company’s future reports filed by the SEC, and which may be viewed free of charge on either the SEC’s website or through the company’s website.

At this time we would like to commence today’s conference call by introducing the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Juliano and the company’s Interim Chief Financial Officer, John Burke.

Mark Juliano

Joining John and I for our call this morning are Bob Pickus, Chief Administrative Officer, Eric Housler, Senior Vice President of Development, Ravneet Bhandari, Senior Vice President of Revenue Management, and Chris Lacteal, Vice President of Financial Analysis.

As a matter of clarification before we start, we have classified Trump Marina as a discontinued operation in our press release and we will be discussing primarily the results of the Taj Mahal and the Plaza during this call. As we know, the gaming industry has been feeling the impact of the weakened national economy. Lower consumer confidence coupled with record high gas prices have cut into discretionary spend for consumers all across the country, and we have felt the effects here in Atlantic City.

While the quarter presented some difficulties as a result of the economy, there were some definite bright spots in our results that tell an encouraging story. First, we continued to outpace our competitors in terms of gaming revenue and to make modest gains in market share. As an aside, our table revenue trailed the market during the last quarter primarily because of lower table-hold at the Taj of about 170 basis points. Normalized to last year’s whole percentage that represented a loss of about $4.5 million in table revenue at that property alone. As we all know, these results tend to balance themselves out over time.

While slot revenue was down, our [inaudible] was relatively flat. The clear story here and I think this is consistent across the industry, is that people are still coming to Atlantic City but they are spending less money, on average, during their visit. It is worth noting that June presented the toughest month for the company after reasonably successful results in April and May. It was in June that the two new hotel towers in the market really had their most pronounced effect, and also in June that gas prices were most severe.

However, gas prices have subsided a bit. We are refining some of our marketing programs to drive additional business in the short term, and most importantly, I think, that the debut of the new tower at the Taj will put us in a stronger position to compete with the new inventory in town. I am confident that the new room product there will be the finest in Atlantic City.

Our strategy for dealing with this situation is simple. We need to focus on driving revenue right now by growing our database and introducing as many people as possible to our upgraded product offering. While we will continue to focus on maintaining our margins, we may have to sacrifice some profitability through this period to put ourselves in the best possible position moving forward.

The challenge we have right now is obviously the economy and that the price of gas has made visiting the convenient facilities in Pennsylvania and New York that much more attractive to potential guests. The good news is, though, that the very nature of an economic cycle is that it will rebound, and when it does we will be in a strong position to capitalize on the upswing as a result of the improvements we have made to our business.

With our properties offering a higher quality product than they have in quite some time, and the funding for the Tower in place, we are closely watching our capital situation and have made the strategic decision to preserve capital as we operate through the economic downturn.

All ongoing projects will be finished and we will continue to take a disciplined approach to any other capital spending over the next couple of quarters. You can all see the positive benefits that our cost-saving programs have provided. Corporate costs were down $4 million over last year, and property payroll and benefit costs were down another $1 million, having direct impact on our bottom line.

Additionally, I am very pleased that while revenue per available room was decreasing in markets across the country, ours increased by about 250 basis points compared to last year. Overall, we’re continuing to fine tune our hotel mix and believe that we’re positioned to affectively sell our new rooms in the Chairman Tower moving forward.

Many of you have been looking for an update on the status of the Trump Marina transaction. All the deadlines by both parties have been met to date. Additionally, we are currently working with our Board of Directors to put our plans in place for the use of the proceeds from the sale. We are evaluating the potential benefits and risks associated with a variety of different options including investments in our Atlantic City properties, potential development projects in other jurisdictions, and reducing debt.

We have also noted in the press release our most significant ongoing project, the construction of the Chairman Tower at Trump Taj Mahal continues on schedule and on budget. We are planning to open half of the 782 rooms by Labor Day and expect to complete the Tower during the remainder of the year. And with the Marina sale progressing and the Chairman Tower about to debut, we are still seeing the fundamental changes in our business producing positive trends. These trends are reason for optimism about the future of our company.

We’re certainly not alone in facing the difficulties that our national economy has created in the short-term, and we are continuing to focus on cost containment and other efficiencies. My belief is that we are well positioned moving forward because of the changes we have made. Our team is dedicated to achieving this goal and I’m confident in our ability to execute our plan.

With that, we’d be happy to answer questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator instructions) Your first question comes from Dennis Ferro - Wachovia.

Dennis Ferro - Wachovia

What’s the status on the property tax dispute with the city?

Mark Juliano

It has been settled, settled first quarter of this year.

Dennis Ferro - Wachovia

Are there any incremental proceeds over time that will be coming in from that? I thought it was a phase payment.

Mark Juliano

There are and for this year there is no credit at all. The credits start again next year, it will be $4 million next year, and a payout over the next three years of I believe a total of $20 million in credit.

Dennis Ferro - Wachovia

I know you mentioned you’re still working through the uses on the Marina sale. But maybe if you could just walk us through a range of the potential source of net proceeds to the company. And I know there’s step-downs or fees. I’m just wondering for modeling purposes if there’s a range you could give us.

Mark Juliano

The sale price obviously is $316. We don’t have any tax implications on it and there will be normal fees associated with it that will probably bring the net proceeds somewhere in the $290-300 million range.

Dennis Ferro - Wachovia

You mentioned in your remarks that half of the Tower will be opened by Labor Day. When do you expect to have the Tower fully ramped?

Mark Juliano

We will have the Tower fully open, an additional hundred rooms per month until the end of the year when the full Tower will be open. So you’ll get the 380-some-rooms Labor Day, little bit before Labor Day probably the 30 to the 28 of August, somewhere in there, and then a hundred a month until we’re completely open in December.

Operator

Your next question comes from Justin Sebastiano - Morgan Joseph.

Justin Sebastiano - Morgan Joseph

As far as the opportunities that you’re seeing obviously there is news out there about Panama, could you maybe go into a little of that.

Mark Juliano

Yes, the Panama deal is progressing for quite some time now. We are in the final stages of negotiating our lease and we expect it to be open sometime in 2010, and it is our first attempt at branding, taking advantage of the name, and branding it throughout the world. And every opportunity that presents itself like that we’re going to take advantage of to build on the strength of the name. The Trump name has become more and more popular not only in its own country but throughout the world, and many opportunities because of the Tower and the name and the strength of the name come our way. We will evaluate them as they come and make the decisions at the appropriate time.

Justin Sebastiano - Morgan Joseph

As far as the economic situation you are putting up money to help it out in the casino area or is this all going to be on the Trump organization and you are going to get a management fee or a cut of the gaming revenue that comes in there?

Mark Juliano

These are management arrangements that we have and lease arrangements with the partner. It’s not money that either the gaming company or the Trump organization is putting up. This is a branding and management deal. We are not finalized on the negotiations of the lease. I really couldn’t talk any more about the economic results of what it might be, but it is not something that requires any capital on our end.

Justin Sebastiano - Morgan Joseph

You say that the third party developers so that’s not the Trump organization. I thought they were the ones that were building the resort.

Mark Juliano

They are managing the construction and they will manage the development of the hotel and sale and leasing of the residential units as we will manage the casino.

Operator

Your next question comes from [Glenn Hamilton] - Private Investor.

[Glenn Hamilton] - Private Investor

Mark, the first quarter I asked you about insider buying and you mentioned something about blackout periods and I noticed on June 6 you sold 40,000 shares and on July 31 another 10,000 shares so obviously you found a way around these blackout periods. Can you comment on a CEO selling a large amount of shares at these low prices, how it appears to the general public?

Mark Juliano

Well these are pre-arranged plans we have in place with Morgan Stanley I believe and they are pre-programmed to take care of the tax consequences for the best [inaudible] of stock and those decisions are made well in advance and there isn’t anything you can do about changing them. So as the stocks vest and the tax is due because it’s taxed as ordinary income, certain amount of shares are sold automatically to pay the tax consequences.

Operator

Your next question comes from James Kayler - Banc of America Securities.

James Kayler - Banc of America Securities

You mentioned in the remarks that you may increases promotions going forward. Can you talk about what the promotional environment is like right now city-wide and maybe more specifically about what types of things you’re looking to do and the thinking behind it? It sounds like somewhat of a change in strategy. What is the thinking behind that change and why do you think that is necessary?

Mark Juliano

Well as we had said earlier in the press release and today in the comments we are not seeing the volume of business into Atlantic City decrease to any great extent but we’re seeing the value of every transaction decrease some because people have less discretionary income to spend. We really have a hard time changing that pattern. You can’t really put that discretionary income back in people’s pockets and have them game with it but you can do whatever you need to do to increase the volume. So our promotional efforts will be to, even though it is a less spend per customers, to increase the volume to make up for that shortfall.

Now as far as the promotional environment in Atlantic City right now we really have not seen it to be unreasonably aggressive as we have some times in the past because I think that although we are going to spend a little bit more extra money to drive volume it won’t be anything that doesn’t have a reasonable expectation of a margin associated with it. And I think that the competitors in town are approaching it the same way.

James Kayler - Banc of America Securities

Obviously Harrah’s is by far the biggest contender in town. Have you seen any change in their promotional offerings since the closing of the LBO?

Mark Juliano

No. Obviously they have an awful big room inventory to fill at the new Harrah’s Marina and we have seen some of the room offers, we think, to be fairly aggressive to keep their occupancy up. But, as a direct promotional cost, directly into the customer’s pocket, we have not seen any change since the buy-out.

James Kayler - Banc of America Securities

Either for the better or worse?

Mark Juliano

Not really.

James Kayler - Banc of America Securities

Obviously we have the monthly numbers through June. I think there’s been some speculation that July might have actually been decent. Do you care to comment?

Mark Juliano

We will know for sure on Monday what the industry looks like. But our own indications and our own results are going to be that July are somewhat similar to June. It started off stronger than June but then got a little bit weaker in the middle of the month and towards the end. But I would say it’s going to be somewhat similar to June throughout the entire city.

James Kayler - Banc of America Securities

On completing the Chairman Tower and other CapEx [inaudible] can you give us a liquidity bridge on how much has been spent on the Tower to date, how much needs to be spent, and how much cash do you need sitting on the balance sheet and how much borrowing availability do you have left.

John P. Burke

The rough spend is about $180 million on the Tower so there’s roughly about $75 million left to go to get to that $255 and that will probably be spent over the fourth quarter and probably $20-50 million over the first quarter of 2009. We threw down $50 million on our [inaudible] bank delay draw loan in the second quarter so we have another $50 million remaining under that line. We estimate the needs at the property level for both the Taj and the Plaza is somewhere between $30-40 million and the Marina is roughly around the $10 million area. Roughly around $50 million for all three properties and obviously less than that without the Marina.

James Kayler - Banc of America Securities

Everyone wants to know about the Marina sale. You mentioned in the press release that a number of milestones had been hit and that everyone’s living up to their requirements in the merger agreement. Is there any other color you can give us on what hurdles or dates or things we need be looking for and any additional color on your level of confidence in coastal development, closing the deal and getting financing.

Mark Juliano

Well the agreement requires that the first hurdle was the application to the Casino Control Commission of their license which they did in July. The agreement was signed in May and they had until July to get their application into the Casino Control Commission which they did. The next hurdle is October 27 when they have to provide us with financing commitments and we have every confidence that they’re going to do that. They have been working quite diligently with potential lenders and they have been visiting the property quite a bit and we have been communicating with them frequently, and we have every confidence that the deal will close.

James Kayler - Banc of America Securities

You’re still targeting year-end or first quarter.

Mark Juliano

Yes, that’s right.

Operator

Your next question comes from Ryan Worst - Brean Murray.

Ryan Worst - Brean Murray

What were your spending requirements outside of the Tower for the remainder of the year?

John P. Burke

There’s a [minimus] for the remainder of the year. We basically completed all projects that we have. There’s probably a maybe a $5-10 million at max outside of the Tower spending.

Ryan Worst - Brean Murray

Mark, what was EBITDA for the Marina? Was it about $4.5 million?

Mark Juliano

$4.7. You can derive that from the press release.

Operator

Your next question comes from David Hargraves - KBC.

David Hargraves – KBC

We’ve seen that in other parts of the country that a lot of casino operators are seeing diminished response to coin giveaways which have always been a pretty reliable way to bring people in the door. And I was wondering if you could comment in your cash giveaway efforts if you’re seeing less responsiveness to that or anything that you could add.

Mark Juliano

I can’t really comment on what the experience in other jurisdictions has been but I can tell you in Atlantic City people react to coin. And we are continuing to see the same redemption rates that we have in the past. It does seem to be a motivator that works. Obviously, you have to be careful that the coin is appropriate to the amount of play. We have mechanisms in place now to make sure that we track that properly, but we have not seen any decline in peoples’ reaction to coin as an incentive.

David Hargraves – KBC

In the press release you mentioned that there were $5.2 million in non-recurring costs and you say primarily related to your bank amendment if I’m not mistaken. I was just wondering if you could elaborate if that was entirely the bank amendment. Could you give us a little more color as to what the $5.2 is?

John P. Burke

As we said in the amendment, in the amendment it was a 1% fee so that’s obviously included in the $5.2 and there’s also other professional fees that you’d expect from those types of transactions.

David Hargraves – KBC

And those are all cash in nature?

Mark Juliano

Yes.

David Hargraves – KBC

One of the things that struck me a little bit is, and I know that you said you’re not focusing on Marina operations but if we were to look at the flow through decline in revenue to decline in EBITDA it looks like Taj had a fairly low flow through, only about 27%, Plaza was 52%, Marina was 78% and what’s interesting about that is the whole percentage actually having been up at the Marina, you would have thought that that would have helped a little bit. I’m just wondering if there’s anything you can add about why the flow through was so strong from revenue to EBITDA. Perhaps there wasn’t any cost-saving potential there or anything you could offer?

John P. Burke

The Marina continues to feel the effects, more so than either the Plaza or the Taj of all the items that we indicated being the issues or the headwinds that we are facing. The Marina, especially in light of its location next to Borgata and Harrah’s, ostensibly the newest product in the city. The Marina especially feels that and therefore their overall revenue bases are down and consequently it’s taken the biggest hit of the EBITDA.

Mark Juliano

And over the past two years, the biggest capital spend has been both at the Plaza and at the Taj and so consequently they have not had the benefit of much new product there. I think that is another reason.

David Hargraves – KBC

But you’re still renting all the properties as a unit. They’re being run the same.

Mark Juliano

All are still operating under the shared services agreement and a consolidated marketing, hotel and casino marketing and sales department so, yes, we are running as we always have in the past.

Operator

Your next question comes from [Beau Williams - Marathon].

[Beau Williams - Marathon]

If I’m looking at these numbers correctly it looks like you’ve got about $50 million left on the delayed draw bank facility and about $30 of cash that you could use so that’s about $80. It looks like your interest expense, cash interest expense for the rest of the year is about that same number, $70-80 million.

If I’m thinking about this right, that says to me that your CapEx is going to be limited to whatever you can earn in terms of EBITDA and so could you confirm if I’m thinking about that correctly, and to what extent can you push out some of those Tower expenses? I know you said, John, the number was $20-50 that could be pushed into the first quarter of the $75 that’s left. So if you could just clarify that, that’d be helpful as we think about the liquidity picture here.

John P. Burke

I said about $20 million or so, probably $20, $25 million could be pushed out into the first quarter of ‘09. And we have some flexibility within the documents we can do certain leasing. We have the ability to do some equipment financing should we be required to do that. So we have some additional flexibility with respect to liquidity.

But in terms of your cash interest numbers, those are probably correct. And it’s $50 million. I said $50 million’s an estimate, it’s could be $40, $50 million. So there’s some flexibility there. We also have, not in those numbers, there’s an additional $50 million credit that we see coming through from the CRDA in connection with the credits that are due back to us for the construction of the Tower of which at least $5 million of it or so will be coming probably within the next couple of days and probably the remainder between the fourth quarter and the first quarter of next year. So all of that adds a little additional flexibility.

[Beau Williams - Marathon]

If for whatever reason the quarter was a little soft or the liquidity for whatever reason got a little bit tight, and was looking like it was a very short-term situation because clearly the Tower’s coming up, you have a sale pending, maybe the sale takes a little bit longer. Do you start to discuss any possibilities about how you might bridge that short gap to where you can get back to the liquidity picture that looks a little brighter compared to what the fourth quarter might be looking like?

John P. Burke

Yes, as you might suspect we’ve had some experience with this in the past and we have flexibility within our working capital. In terms of timing, 60-90 days, you can probably manage a $30-40 million gap during that time period. Again, but we expect the Tower and our operations, even in our worst case scenarios of downturns from last year’s results show us that our working capital is not an issue.

Mark Juliano

And the good point is that over the past two and a half years, the bulk of the capital that we needed to spend on the properties has been spent. So the properties are in pretty good shape and we’re really going to be very careful about capital moving forward so that, although, obviously there are projects that we would like to do, none of them are required to maintain the levels of performance that we have been experiencing in the past.

The slot inventory is really in good shape and up to date. All the rooms have been redone, the casino floors are looking fine, and we have the introduction of the new suite product at the Taj. That’s all done and paid for so we’re really in a pretty good position as far as the condition of the properties are concerned and our ability to preserve and lower that CapEx number for next year.

Operator

Your next question comes from Jane Pedreira - Lehman Bros.

Jane Pedreira - Lehman Bros.

I think you’ve indicated in the past that your intention was to try to pre-sell some of the new rooms into the group market and I’m just curious what the reaction has been so far and if you can comment on what the approximate mix is today and how that might change with the new rooms being introduced.

Ravneet Bhandari

For the Chairman Tower our committed group numbers are in excess of 10,000 room nights for September through December. The overall mix today, excluding the Chairman Tower at the Taj, is roughly 40% cash, 60% casino comps, so to speak. With the addition of the Tower that goes up to 45% cash, 55% comp.

On a transient base we’ve been accepting reservations for the last six weeks now and our transient base from all channels, through the internet and through our call center, have actually been pretty strong. Our rates are trending about anywhere from a $30-35 premium over the existing tower. And we appear to be well on track to hit our targets for these last four months for the Chairman Tower.

Jane Pedreira - Lehman Bros.

Are most of these through three-year contracts or are they pretty much one-year and then you have opportunities to roll out?

Ravneet Bhandari

That’s typically the trend in Atlantic City. The group contracts are typically renewed every year for next year, so to speak. But our percentage of repeat business has been in excess of 90%.

Jane Pedreira - Lehman Bros.

And just a question on the smoking lounges. I’m sure you’ve commented but I forget. Can you say where on the floor you’re going to locate the lounge and is there any way you can try to keep your players captive there so they don’t go outside and they in fact stay near the floor?

Mark Juliano

All three of the lounges will be on the casino floor which is one of the things that is permitted under the ordinance. At the Plaza and at the Taj they’re going to locate it close to the main traffic flow on the floor, and at the Marina a little bit off of the main floor as you enter to the left. So they’re all very convenient to the casino floor and patrons, although they will not be able to smoke while they’re gaming, will have a convenient place to smoke without leaving the casino floor.

Operator

Your next question comes from Howard Bryerman - Evergreen Investments.

Howard Bryerman - Evergreen Investments

Obviously you just gave us the incremental cash that we would get from room nights. How do we look at it in terms of incremental cash from the gaming fees?

Mark Juliano

We are budgeting a particular game expense per room for the comp rooms which is in the range of $530 a night. If you would take that 40-45% of the rooms that are going to be cash paying customers and take the other 60% depending on how the rooms get paid then you’re looking at approximately a $500 gaming budget from them that we have budgeted per occupied room.

Howard Bryerman - Evergreen Investments

Finally, who internally is actually handling the negotiations for the Marina, for the sale of the Marina?

Mark Juliano

Bob Pickus, who is our Chief Administrative Officer, is the lead on those negotiations and then we’re using a variety of outside professionals when necessary.

Howard Bryerman - Evergreen Investments

Is Mr. Trump actively involved in those negotiations?

Mark Juliano

Mr. Trump is Chairman of the Board, and along with the rest of the Board, is involved with any of the approvals that we need, any of the guidance that we need. Mr. Trump has a relationship with one of the principals from Coastal Development and they communicate quite often so in that regard, yes, he’s involved.

Operator

Your next question is a follow-up from Justin Sebastiano from Morgan Joseph.

Justin Sebastiano - Morgan Joseph

You had mentioned that the results of July were similar to June and earlier in the call you said June was the worst month for the company.

Mark Juliano

Well June was the worst month in that quarter and we are seeing July being similar to it. I can tell you that the first six days of August are much better so part of the July issue for the Taj was hold. So, yes, we think it’s going to be somewhat similar in the entire town from what we hear and we’ll find out by Monday.

Justin Sebastiano - Morgan Joseph

You’re talking about increasing your comps. The third quarter of ’07, if we exclude the Marina, and you did EBITDA, more property EBITDA margin of just under 25% by my calculation so are we talking about a 300 basis point decline? Could you give us a little bit more guidance considering how July started for you and the fact that you said you’re going to sacrifice profits to gain market share so when the Tower opens what can we think of in the third quarter for our EBITDA numbers?

Mark Juliano

You’re going to see very little impact in the third quarter from the Tower because it’s opening, only half the rooms, number one, and only a very short period of time in the quarter. When we talked a little bit earlier about using comps or being a little bit more aggressive to drive revenue, although we expect to sacrifice some margin we hope to pick it up in the amount of volume that we are driving. So we don’t necessarily think it’ll be a significant impact to EBITDA. We expect it to be a positive impact because we will be careful of how we spend the money but it is going to be necessary to be somewhat more aggressive.

Justin Sebastiano - Morgan Joseph

But you said you’re going to sacrifice profit, it’s a disconnect for me in how you’re going to keep EBITDA almost up there when you said you’re going to sacrifice profit.

Mark Juliano

Hopefully we’ll drive the top line revenue number enough to make up the extra expenses that we’re going to have to drive to get it there.

Justin Sebastiano - Morgan Joseph

And when do you think you’re going to start increasing the comps, if you haven’t already, when does that marketing program go out?

Mark Juliano

It’s ongoing and it’s been throughout this quarter now. I don’t want to mislead you that we’re leading the charge here in driving promotional costs. We’re still being very thoughtful and methodical about it. We still have the ability to track where we’re spending the money, we’re just going to be more focused on spending it on our more profitable segments to drive more volume out of those people that really were only coming perhaps once a month that we need them to start coming two or three times a month like they used to.

Operator

Your last question is a follow-up from David Hargraves - KBC

David Hargraves - KBC

In thinking about the smoking ban that’s coming up in October and maybe that’s something that’s just not visible to us in our level on the papers and whatnot. Is there no effort to try and fight this at this point or come up with any compromise? Is there any organized effort? I’m just surprised that there seems to be no real opposition, everyone’s accepted it. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about if you have tried to do anything or at least get some offsetting consideration.

Mark Juliano

Well this is the result of a very long, vocal and aggressive battle with the city that we had. If you can recall correctly, as we went back into the time when we first started, the initial proposal for the city council was a complete smoking ban. Through a variety of different negotiations we enabled them to go down to 25% and have phased this to defeat the smoking ban, although it’s not even completely, people are still allowed to smoke in the smoking lounges to not be implemented until the 15 of October. So the reality of it is that we fought 18 months through negotiating and negotiated to the point that we think this is about the best situation in the country that allows smoking on the casino floor while still respecting the demands of the city to have a smoking ban.

[Dave Hargraves - KVC]

I don’t want to bore everybody with this, but you hit on it right there, the city council decided it. And the city council is having such a heavy weight on the state budget and the state’s livelihood you would think that somebody in the legislature might have a little more clout than the city council. Is there nobody that you can appeal to for this?

Mark Juliano

Well, we have done the best job that we can trying to fight this. Unfortunately, not only do you have city council to deal with, public sentiment is overwhelmingly in the favor of having smoke-free environments. This is not an unusual situation here in Atlantic City. And I would predict that within the next couple of years, you’ll have smoke free public spaces all over the country. So it’s a very difficult thing for the city council to reverse their decision on now at this point.

[Dave Hargraves - KVC]

Is there any hope to have some over turn in the future though?

Mark Juliano

I would say not.

Operator

We have no further questions in queue.

Mark Juliano

Thank you. Thanks, everybody.

Operator

This concludes today’s conference call. We thank everyone for calling in today and participating in the company’s earnings conference call.

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Source: Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. Q2 2008 Earnings Call Transcript
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