Hard Rock to spend $500M on Taj Mahal overhaul

Jim Allen, the gambling guru who’s the CEO of Seminole Gaming and chairman of Hard Rock International, said his company is prepared to plunk down $500 million to renovate Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal, the shuttered casino built by President Donald Trump in 1990.

Hard Rock finalized the purchase of the Taj for a reported $50 million in March, long after Trump was no longer affiliated with it.

Allen is a familiar face in the Capitol. For years, the Atlantic City native has been the key point man in the tribe’s negotiations with Florida officials over a deal known as a “compact.”

According to a CDC Gaming Reports story by Aaron Stanley, Allen recently told a gathering of gambling execs that the Taj — and his Atlantic City hometown — are poised for a turnaround.

The Seminoles pulled the plug on a massive overhaul of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa after the Legislature refused to sign off on a deal inked by tribal leaders and Gov. Rick Scott late in 2015.

Lawmakers again failed to approve a revised compact with the Seminoles during the session that ended earlier this month, leaving unresolved questions about the future of  the tribe’s exclusive rights to offer banked card games, such as blackjack, at most of its casinos. A federal judge sided with the Seminoles in a dispute about the games, but the state has indicated it intends to appeal.