Local Buses Still On Casino Runs, To Fewer Places

The sixth-floor gambling hall at Revel Casino in Atlantic City NJ was devoid of players Sunday afternoon

The sixth-floor gambling hall at Revel Casino in Atlantic City NJ was devoid of players Sunday afternoon

POTTSTOWN PA – A select group of Tri-County area residents have for years counted on local motor coach operators – Klein Transportation, Carl Bieber Tourways and Werner Tours, among them – to provide their ride to what once was an expanding variety of casinos in Atlantic City NJ. All those companies still offer casino trips, but the number of available gambling palaces declined by two over the Labor Day Weekend. Another will close by Sept. 16. And one more shut its doors earlier this year. The popular tourist and vacation city is losing more than 5,000 combined jobs as a result. Industry analysts believe there were too many casinos open for all to be successful. Atlantic City will do better with fewer, they claim, and some report they have already improved their financial positions since the Atlantic Club casino closed in January (2014). Revel, the city’s newest casino, was closing its doors over a two-day period: Labor Day Monday and today (Tuesday, Sept. 2). Its sixth-floor slot machines and gaming tables were practically abandoned Sunday (Aug. 31), and few of those who strolled outside along the city’s fabled boardwalk were tempted to come in, despite 90-degree heat and high humidity. Sunday was the last day for Showboat, which billed itself as “The Mardi Gras Casino.” It had a heavy security presence on the casino floor in the hours leading up to 4 p.m., when guests were ushered out for the last time. One player, having no further use for it, left a Showboat rewards loyalty card behind on one of the slot machines there.

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Few outsiders wandered into Revel’s opulent glass-covered complex Sunday (above left), and a veteran player left a rewards card behind at the Showboat casino, also closing and right next door to Revel

Trump Plaza, named for real estate mogul Donald Trump under a licensing agreement with a different operator, is scheduled to similarly shut down by mid-month. Neighboring states that also allow casino gambling, including Pennsylvania, have created competition that in part led to poorer returns at the casinos which are closing, experts say. Casinos that remain open in Atlantic City are doing their best to attract bettors to their slots and tables. Showboat was part of a casino group that also includes Caesar’s, Harrah’s and Bally’s. Small cards seen taped Sunday to Showboat slot machines urged visitors to try their winning hands with those parlors still in business.

Marketing even at the close: a card taped to a Showboat slot machine urges visitors to try their hand at Caesar's casino, just a few blocks away

Marketing even at the close: a card taped to a Showboat slot machine urges visitors to try their hand at Caesar’s casino, just a few blocks away

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