updated 7/6/2005 5:40:03 PM ET 2005-07-06T21:40:03

James B. Perry, the former chief executive of a riverboat casino company, has been appointed CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts, Chairman Donald J. Trump said Wednesday.

“Jim’s track record is terrific,” Trump said, adding that he was selected after “a large number” of people were interviewed to run the four Trump casinos.

Perry will remain a director of Trump Entertainment, created in May when its predecessor, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, emerged from bankruptcy, Trump said.

Trump had been both chairman and CEO of the old company, but said he is concentrating on Manhattan real estate development and the CEO needs to spend time a lot of time in Atlantic City.

Trump was optimistic about the company, which operates three casinos in Atlantic City and one in Gary, Ind., and remained open throughout the Chapter 11 reorganization, which began Nov. 21.

“It has a chance to be a very important company” in the casino world, now that it has reduced its debt, Trump said.

As part of the prepackaged reorganization, Trump relinquished majority control to his bondholders while remaining the largest individual stockholder. The plan reduced annual interest payments by about $100 million and reduced debt to $1.25 billion, down from $1.8 billion.

The board unanimously approved the appointment, the company said.

“I am excited about the opportunity to re-establish the company as a leading casino operator, to continue to strengthen the balance sheet, and to capitalize on the worldwide prominence of the Trump brand,” Perry said.

Perry retired in 2003 as CEO of Argosy Gaming Co., which operates riverboat casinos.

Trump Entertainment properties include Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, and Trump Marina Hotel Casino, all in Atlantic City, and the Trump Casino Hotel, a riverboat casino in Gary, Ind.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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