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Mirage Sues Trump, Hilton Over Atlantic City Plans

Real estate: Company claims its competitors are playing dirty in a quest to derail casino project.

September 10, 1997|From Bloomberg News

Mirage Resorts Inc. on Tuesday said it sued Donald Trump, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. and Hilton Hotels Corp., saying they are unfairly blocking the company's plans for a new casino in Atlantic City.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, claims Trump and Hilton violated antitrust laws by trying to limit competition. Mirage, which also claims Trump made improper political contributions, is seeking $150 million in damages.

At issue is a $330-million tunnel, partly funded with public money, from the Atlantic City Expressway to the city's casino and marina areas that Mirage Chairman Stephen Wynn says is necessary to build a $2-billion hotel and casino project. Trump, a bitter rival of Wynn's, has challenged the tunnel in court, claiming the use of state money is illegal.

"I believe that this relentless campaign has been designed and executed by the defendants to prevent competition," Wynn said in a statement. "The facts will tell a frightening story about the use of the legal system and the abuse of corporate power."

Trump denied the accusations and said his company would counter-sue.

"This is just a pathetic attempt to put the blame on Trump and Hilton for Mirage's inability to have the taxpayers of New Jersey foot the huge bill for an unnecessary casino," Trump said.

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