Twenty-Nine Palms Band ended Donald Trump casino deal for $6M

The Twenty-Nine Palms Band owns and operates the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella, California. Photo by Jreescordmedia via Wikiamedia Commons

The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians ended its relationship with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after just three years, The Palm Springs Desert Sun reports.

The National Indian Gaming Commission approved a management contract between the tribe and the real estate mogul in 2002. He agreed to finance a $60 million expansion of the Spotlight 29 Casino -- which was renamed Trump 29 Casino -- in exchange for about 30 percent of the revenue over a five-year period, the paper said.

But after Trump's company declared bankruptcy in 2004, the tribe bought him out for $6 million -- far less than the $11 million that the contract called for -- the paper reported. Still Trump did not leave empty-handed: he earned $2.7 million from the deal in 2002, $3.2 million in 2003 and $7.5 million in 2004, the paper said.

But had the deal continued, Trump would have likely earned another $20 million or more, the paper notes.

“That was some real ‘Art of the Deal’ stuff, wasn’t it?” Victor Rocha, the owner of, told the paper. “They figured out pretty quickly that this guy was not what he said he was, and they could do a better job. And they have.”

Get the Story:
How Donald Trump got fired by a California casino (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 3/21)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Donald Trump once claimed IGRA and tribal casinos were illegal (01/29)
Cowlitz Tribe turned down Donald Trump for gaming partnership (10/05)
Donald Trump wanted Jeb Bush to negotiate gaming compact (09/18)
Donald Trump spars with Jeb Bush over gaming bid in Florida (09/17)
Donald Trump tried to open casino with Seminole Tribe in Florida (09/02)
Donald Trump supported then opposed casino in Connecticut (08/21)
Column: Donald Trump's first big slur came at tribe's expense (08/10)
Donald Trump not shy with invoking race when it comes to tribes (07/31)