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Atlantic City Surprises

By Brian | July 30, 2005 | Share on Facebook

My wife & I recently spent a weekend in Atlantic City (mostly in the Tropicana’s new attraction known as “The Quarter”). I’ve always been a little fascinated by Atlantic City from a marketing perspective; everything about the place seemed designed to get you into the casino and spending (or as they call it “gambling”) money. This time around, a few thoughts crossed my mind:

1) We went to AC last year too (stayed in the Borgata), and I had noticed that all the slot machines had moved away from coins & to printed tickets, which could be brought to the chasiers or machines for money/credit. At the time, I thought it was a bad idea, since the “ching, ching” of the slots adds so much to the panache of a casino. This time around, in the Trop and also at Harrah’s (where we went on Sunday before heading home), the slots generally seemed to be back on coins. Did the whole ticket thing fail? Or is it just that the Borgata is newer and the older casinos haven’t caught on to the new technology? Usually, when something new comes around, all the casinos jump on it together…

2) The Trop had nickel, quarter, fifty cent and $1 slot machines (as well as a wide variety of video poker-like machines at various prices). A big difference I noticed this time around was that the different priced machines were mixed together. In the past, I was used to seeing a “Nickel Slots Area” for the old folks who wanted to spend rolls & rolls of nickels, a similar area for Dollars & Fifty Cent machines, and then the rest were quarters. I wonder why they changed the configuration…

3) The Trop also had penny slots. I’m surprised they’d want to start dealing with an entirely new coin (before that, the coin-counting machines at the cashier’s counter only had to deal with nickels & quarters). But if they are, what have they got against the dime now?

4) In other trips to AC, as well as my one & only trip to Vegas, it seemed anything you wanted to do in the hotel required you to walk through the casino, in hopes that you’ll drop a few quarters into a machine, or maybe a few bucks on a table, on your way to wherever you’re going. In the Trop’s “Quarter,” you had to walk through various restaurants & shops to get to the casino. In fact, there were so many hallways to walk down, I actually had to ask my wife, “Where’s the casino?” That’s gotta be a bad sign, right?

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