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Donald Trump's 'mafia connections' blocked his bid to open Sydney casino 30 years ago

  • Australia's New South Wales (NSW) police board recommended against approving an offer from the former New York businessman and a local developer, according to a report from The Australian, because it would have been "dangerous".
  • The NSW government's concerns regarding Trump's joint venture were not made public at the at the time. However, under rules which declassify NSW cabinet papers, summaries of several reports on the Kern/Trump joint bid were reported in The Australian on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump's bid to open Sydney's first casino 30 years ago was thwarted after regulators expressed concern over his alleged "mafia connections", it was revealed on Wednesday.

Australia's New South Wales (NSW) police board recommended against approving an offer from the former New York businessman and a local developer, according to a report from The Australian, because it would have been "dangerous".

The now U.S. president, in partnership with the Queensland-based Kern Corporation, was one of four groups bidding for the lucrative Darling Harbour project in Sydney. However, the NSW government rejected the pair's proposal on 5 May 1987, along with two other bidders.

At the time Trump owned two casinos in Atlantic City – Trump Plaza and Trump's Castle – and was poised to open a third with the Trump Taj Mahal.

Donald Trump using his limousine as an office in New York City in August 1987.
Joe McNally | Getty Images
Donald Trump using his limousine as an office in New York City in August 1987.

"Atlantic City would be a dubious model for Sydney and in our judgment, the Trump mafia connections should exclude the Kern/Trump consortium," a summary of the NSW police board's report concluded on May 4, 1987.

The NSW government's concerns regarding Trump's joint venture were not made public at the at the time. However, under rules which declassify NSW cabinet papers, summaries of several reports on the Kern/Trump joint bid were reported in The Australian on Wednesday.

The Trump organization was not available to comment when contacted by CNBC on Wednesday.

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