NEWS

Trump's 'Mafia Connections' Excluded Him From An Australian Casino Deal

The same year he released 'The Art of the Deal,' the deal fell through.

07/09/2017 11:05 AM AEST | Updated 07/09/2017 11:22 AM AEST

Australian police felt Donald Trump's business connections were so disreputable that they recommended his company be precluded from pitching for a casino licence.

In 1987, NSW Police were so concerned about Trump's 'mafia connections' they recommended he be excluded from bidding for Sydney's first inner-city casino project, documents released on Thursday by the NSW State Government show.

"Atlantic City would be a dubious model for Sydney and in our judgement, the Trump Mafia connections should exclude the Kern/Trump consortium," the Police Board said in report dated April 3, 1987.

The documents were part of Cabinet deliberations over the bid, which were released on Thursday under laws which make Government documents public after 30 years.

Ron Galella via Getty Images
onald Trump, Don King and Barbara Walters attend 'The Art of the Deal' Book Party on December 12, 1987 at Trump Tower in New York City.

The Police Board was tasked with certifying "on the grounds of sound repute, probity and integrity" which of four tenderers should be recommended to lead the proposed inner-city Darling Harbour project.

Under local legislation, anyone applying for a casino licence in NSW is required to be "of good repute, having regard to character, honesty and integrity".

The Kern/Trump group was one of three groups considered unacceptable by the police board, and it was eliminated from the process on May 5 of that year.

"Briefly stated, the Police Board considers that HKMS, Federal/Resorts/Sabemo, Kern/Trump, are unacceptable," the report said.

In 1987, Trump told The Australian newspaper -- which broke the story ahead of the documents release on Thursday -- that if his casino design was chosen it would "not only be the largest, but one of the most magnificent, one of the most beautiful hotels anywhere in the world".

NSW Cabinet
The Police Board's assessment of the Trump/Kern bid for the Casino.

NSW Government
The assessment of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Australia

The documents also show extracts from a report stating the Kern/Trump proposal's financial structure was "reasonably based".

"However, the projected casino revenue estimates are not soundly based and the quantum of the ­potential overstatement is so mat­erial that the tender is not financially viable," the report by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Australia said.

"Also, the tender is not fin­ancially viable on the basis of expected returns to equity investors."

Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images
30 years after his consortium's failed Casino bid in Sydney, Donald Trump was elected 45th president of the United States.

A major critic of the proposal at the time, Reverend Fred Nile, described the process for The Guardian as a "disaster".

Rev. Nile, who still sits in the NSW parliament, pushed for the NSW government to scrap the casino entirely after he raised concerns about possible organised crime links with the planned casino.

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