A New Jersey bankruptcy judge Wednesday approved a $100 million loan to Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. (search) and cleared the way for the casino operator to use the cash in its coffers as it reorganizes in Chapter 11.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith Wizmur said she would sign off on the financing arrangements, but allow an official committee of equity holders to object.

No such panel has yet been named, but attorneys from the Office of the U.S. Trustee (search) said Wednesday that the federal agency is soliciting shareholders to sit on a panel in the Trump Hotels Chapter 11 (search).

The casino company controlled by real-estate magnate Donald J. Trump's (search) filed for bankruptcy protection in November after months of negotiations with bondholders over restructuring a crushing debt.

The bankruptcy filings listed debt of about $1.8 billion, which Trump said would be cut by $500 million as part of the restructuring.

The Trump casino business consists mainly of three Atlantic City properties and a riverboat casino in Indiana and are only a small part of Trump's overall real estate empire.