Posts Tagged ‘Atlantic City casinos’

Resorts Casino CEO Catches Thief

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Dennis Gomes, the CEO of Resorts Casino, has been in the news and in the gambling blogs a lot today. The controversial figure has been praised and criticized for his business strategies, but even his opponents have to agree that catching thieves is a good thing for the industry.

On Friday, Gomes was eating dinner with his wife at Capriccio, one of the restaurants on the casino’s Atlantic City property. While waiting for the dinner to be served, he noticed a suspicious man walk into the restaurant. Gomes, it should be noted, worked as a police officer for years before getting into the business world. Gomes saw the man bend down to tie his shoe and then get up and start walking away carrying a case that he did not have when he entered the casino.

Gomes then got up from his table and ran after the man, who fled the scene. When being chased up an escalator, the man tossed the case over the side as a distraction. Gomes continued to chase the suspect, though. In a scene right out of an action movie, the man tried to lose Gomes by running down the up escalator, against the flow of pedestrian traffic, and then bolted for the exit one he got to the floor. Gomes, who used to be a sprinter, chased him and got the attention of a security guard. Gomes and the security guard grabbed the man before he could exit the casino.

The man was arrested. He was identified as Anthony Roberts, who had previously been released from prison for a theft sentence. According to Gomes and the Atlantic City authorities, Roberts tried to steal a case belonging to a woman dining at the restaurant. The case was found to be containing CDs, baby powder and other personal items of little monetary value.

$1 blackjack tables helping Atlantic City casinos

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

I have written before about how raising the minimum bet limits for blackjack tables can cause a drop in revenue for the casinos rather than an increase. Casino games, like any other product, good or service, is governed by the rules of supply and demand. Or at least they should be. The casinos charge a price to play the game that the players consider the games to be worth. If the casino charges too little money, they risk not making enough to justify carrying the game (or so they say). If they charge too much, players may opt to not play.

The casino industry is hurting thanks to the recession and they are looking for ways to increase revenue. Some casinos, such as those in Colorado, have made $10 tables the cheapest, but they risk losing some blackjack novices who don’t want to wager that price.  Some Atlantic City casinos are now taking the opposite route in an attempt to lure more players. The casino will make less money on each hand, but hopefully have more players.

The Trump Marina Hotel Casino, owned by that guy who fires people on TV, has introduced $1 blackjack tables in an attempt to boost business. As a result, they are seeing the best business they have had in years. Back in the 1990’s, $2 tables were common in Atlantic City, but those were gradually phased out in favor of $5 and even $10 tables as the cheapest.

With the resurgence in popularity for blackjack tables at the Trump Marina, here’s hoping that the $1 blackjack table trend will catch on. It’s the perfect way for gamblers with smaller incomes or novice gamblers to have fun at the casino without worrying too much about their cash.

Of course, at online casinos there are even more opportunities for low-minimum blackjack tables. It is common to find $1 and $2 blackjack tables online if you look hard enough. In addition, some online casinos hold blackjack tournaments, where you can buy in for a low price or maybe for no entry fee at all, if it’s a free blackjack tournament.

NJ college training blackjack dealers for other states

Friday, August 13th, 2010

It’s survival of the fittest out there in the business world, unless you can get a federal bailout. Therefore, businesses must adapt or die. A New Jersey college is doing just that because of the struggling local economy. With lessening demand for casino workers in Atlantic City, the college is exporting the talent.

Atlantic Cape Community College opened casino school a while back with the mission of training dealers and croupiers to work in the Atlantic City casinos. It seemed logical, considering the large part of the Atlantic City economy that the casinos played. However, the Great Recession has hurt everyone, making an economic mess of things all over.
Atlantic City is hurting worse than most places, though, partly because gambling is considered a luxury expense that should be reduced or eliminated during tough times, and partly because of mismanagement from ousted Governor Jon Corzine.

Atlantic City casinos are losing money and cutting jobs. Therefore, the employment situation there is bleak. As a result, the community college is still offering the casino school, but most of the students are finding employment elsewhere, particularly in the nearby areas of Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York.

To help a flagging attendance, Atlantic Cape Community College now sells its casino school curriculum to other states. Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for example, purchased the curriculum and trains students in a strip mall before sending them to local casinos. Including Mount Airy Casino, which has a partnership with NCC.

As more and more states opt to legalize casinos and add table games to their slot parlors, it seems that this new business model of selling their curriculum to competitors is the best way for ACCC to make money at the moment. Hopefully at some point the economy will recover and Atlantic City will have jobs of its own.

Atlantic City to Add Smaller Casinos?

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

As business in Atlantic City’s casinos is down, some lawmakers want to add more casinos to the mix in what would be the biggest gambling expansion in the city since gambling was legalized 32 years ago. On Monday, a state law allowing the expansion could hit the floor. It is already facing stiff opposition, though.

Proponents of expansion say that adding more casinos to the market would increase demand and give people who haven’t been to Atlantic City, New Jersey, in a while a new reason to visit. Opponents say that adding more casinos would dilute the market and take business away from the established casinos in the city. On that note, the main opponents of this bill are the current casinos and their unions.

There is also another variable to consider: casino size. Currently, state law requires that casinos have a minimum of 500 rooms, with many having well over 1,000. The result is that all of the casinos are large, fancy establishments that you would expect from fine Atlantic City resorts. Under the proposed bill, the room minimum would be dropped to 200.

Proponents of the bill say that allowing smaller casinos will bring more variety to Atlantic City, which would help them compete with the smaller casinos in Delaware and Pennsylvania. The current casinos, however, disagree and say that it will do two things: 1) take business away from the existing casinos, and 2) lower the standard of the casinos in the city. They equate it to having a bad neighbor moving a trailer into their high-class luxury community. Adding smaller, cheaper casinos to the mix would change the image of Atlantic City from being one of only first-class establishments.

Bob McDevitt, president of one of those unions (Unite-HERE), says that if the bill is passed they would be “cheapening the billions and billions of dollars already invested in Atlantic City, and changing the definition of what gaming in New Jersey is.” He also said that anyone who wants to enter the nation’s second-largest gambling market (to Las Vegas), “better be able to pony up the money to do a first-class facility. Otherwise, you have no business being here.”

Proponents of gambling expansion say that adding smaller casinos will bring more people to the city, which will help all businesses, even those not related to gambling. Adding new attractions to an area is a proven way to make money, but the question about lowering the standards is a valid one. A reason given for lowering the size standards is an attempt to match the standards in competing areas in Philadelphia and Delaware, where new casinos can be added for considerably cheaper.

There’s also a question of how much money business owners are willing to pay out in advance. State Senator James Whelan, a former mayor of Atlantic City who will introduce the legislation, says that times have changed and in order to compete they need to allow smaller casinos. He says that in Philadelphia and Delaware “you can get in for tens of millions of dollars. In Atlantic City, 500 rooms costs you $800 million, minimum, and nobody’s writing checks for $800 million or $1 billion nowadays.”

Therein lies the main debate at issue. In the middle of a recession where the Atlantic City casino industry is hurting, would it be good or bad for the economy to add new, smaller casinos? Would the added variety bring new people to the area or would it make current Atlantic City customers think that their scene is no longer better than the competition? If Whelan is right, the legislation could revive a struggling economy. If he’s wrong, however, he could further hinder an economy that is already in had shape.

PA to Have Blackjack by July 4?

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Last month, many blackjack fans were pleased to hear that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell had signed a bill into law that would allow table games in the state. Since then, the move to allow blackjack, poker and other table games in state casinos has been put on the fast track. The Chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Greg Fajt, says that table games could be in operation in the casinos by the Fourth of July.

To gambling enthusiasts, that date makes perfect sense. On America’s Independence Day, when freedom is celebrated more than any other time, gamblers will be given the freedom to challenge a dealer at blackjack, something that inexplicably had not been allowed before.

Yesterday, the gaming board issued temporary regulations for casinos that are adding table games. By issuing the temporary regulations, the process of getting the games up and running is sped up. Those regulations include the required training for dealers and which rules are accepted for poker, among other things. The temporary regulations are effective immediately and last for two years. By the end of that two-year period, the gaming board will have had time to sit down with the casinos, unions, and everyone else involved, and come up with more permanent regulations.

Prior to this table game legislation being signed into law, only slot machines have been allowed in Pennsylvania casinos. By adding table games, the slot casinos should be able to attract more customers and make a lot more money, which in turn will benefit the state of Pennsylvania due to the tax revenue and other costs. Each casino that wants to add table games must pay a $16.5 million license fee up front. In addition, in the first two years, table games will be taxed at 16%, with it dropping slightly to 14% after that time. Larger casinos will be allowed to add up to 250 table games each, while small resort casinos will be allowed 50 table games.

The legalization of table games is thought to be a great help for Pennsylvania’s economy, but not everyone is happy. Take the state of New Jersey, for example. That state has its own gambling market and isn’t pleased at the thought of more competition. Many in the state fear that Atlantic City casinos will lose a lot of business to the Pennsylvania casinos, particularly the New York City market.