Thursday, October 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 4:45 PM
The Revel casino, where an auction is scheduled for Thursday. Showboat and Trump Plaza also face possible closing in the weeks ahead, threatening ripple effects for countless businesses. TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

As a possible sale of Revel Casino-Hotel could happen this week, it's interesting to note an email we received earlier today.

Said missive is an announcement of an Oct. 17 booking at The Social, the $2.4 billion adult playpen's casino-side performance venue. That the press release is for a funk band called The Mummies (whose gimmick is the members dress the part onstage) would be of minimum significance, if not for the date.

While some AyCee observers are under the impression Revel will be just a memory by autumn (the assumption being no buyer will want what some consider the white elephant to end all white elephants), the booking suggests otherwise, as does a highly placed source familiar with the situation.

Chuck Darrow @ 4:45 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, August 14, 2013, 10:52 AM

 So what can be better than a couple free tickets to see tokin' jokers Cheech & Chong for free? How about dinner before the show and a meet-and-greet with the hemp-lovin' duo?

That's what PhillyDailyNews.com and Trump Taj Mahal will be providing three winners and their guests this Saturday night as Cheech & Chong and '70s hitmakers War party at the Arena.

The festivities will begin with dinner at Trattoria Il Mulino hosted by Yours Truly. Then it's onto the show and a few minutes up-close-and-personal with the iconic comics who are currently on their "Up In Smoke" tour.

Chuck Darrow @ 10:52 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, July 8, 2013, 11:24 AM

It's obviously too early to know exactly how Scores will do in the marketplace, but it's a mortal lock the adult entertainment complex being built on the second level of Trump Taj Mahal won't be what most people are expecting.

Ever since the 36,000-square-foot project--which should be up and running by the second week of August at the latest--was first announced in late 2010, the assumption has been that it would be a typical "gentlemen's club," comprised of one huge public space and the requisite private "VIP" rooms. While there are elements of that, a recent CasiNotes sneak-peak tour conducted by Bob Gans, managing member of New York-based Scores Holding Company Inc., the LLC that runs the Scores empire (including Robert's Steak House outlets in Manhattan and the Taj), revealed there is much more to it.

The 8,000 square-foot main showroom is a high-tech playpen whose signature feature (besides pole-dancing "entertainers," as they are identified by the company) will be a 160-square-foot LED board that frames the stage, and which is capable of countless designs and graphic permutations. There are also state-of-the-art, digital "iLights" on the walls and ceiling to provide a sense of animation and perpetual motion.

Chuck Darrow @ 11:24 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 12:16 PM
Players enjoy the game at the March Deaf Poker Tour at the Taj Mahal. Below, tournament founders (from left) Nathan Montoya, Jarrod Musano, James Rydstrom, Andy Foster, Alok Doshi and Joey Seifner. (CHAYA SELZERTATE TULLIER)

Forgive me for going all Hyman Roth on you (and forgive me if you don't get the "Godfather II" reference), but nowhere in Atlantic City is there a plaque dedicated to Phil Roura.

It was on June 25, 1993--20 years ago today--that Roura earned a tiny place in Atlantic City history when he won the first legal hand of poker ever dealt there.

If you're wondering how I know that, believe me, it is forever etched in my memory, for it was me who Roura beat to win that historic hand. But let's start at the beginning.

Chuck Darrow @ 12:16 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, April 12, 2013, 10:35 AM
The Goo Goo Dolls

It looks like the center of the region’s casino entertainment universe has shifted about 120 miles to the northeast.

For the past decade, no gambling den has made a bigger investment in show business, or brought in more big-time acts, then Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. But now, Sands Bethlehem is giving the Big B a run for its money.

“Last year, we did 55 shows in six months. This year we’ll probably do upwards of 100-120,” bragged Sands President and CEO Bob DeSalvio during the intermission of last Sunday’s sold-out concert by progressive-rock titans, Yes.

Chuck Darrow @ 10:35 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, April 5, 2013, 10:06 AM
Blog Image
Atlantic city's biggest challenge may be finding ways to replace gaming revenue from senior citizens who are forsaking the town's casinos for more conveniently located gaming destinations. Photo: www.atlanticcitynj.com

Atlantic City and its gambling industry need more bad news like the Phillies’ Ryan Howard needs to increase his strikeout totals. But it nonetheless received more in the form of a recent numbers-crunching study by the South Jersey Transportation Authority.

According to the SJTA, the amount of buses bringing out-of-towners to its 12 casinos has significantly declined for 24 consecutive months. As the Press of Atlantic City noted, in February, 140,000 people arrived on chartered buses, a 30 percent decline over February, 2012 and a nearly 50 percent drop from February, 2011. And therein lays the town’s biggest problem.

 It’s no secret the existence of five full-service casinos in Southeastern Pennsylvania and a couple mega-slot parlors in New York City has been devastating to AyCee’s gaming halls. But the heart of the matter is explained by the SJTA report.

Chuck Darrow @ 10:06 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, March 22, 2013, 11:12 AM
Blog Image
The LandShark Bar & Grille appears on the right-hand side of this artist's rendering. It sits across the Boardwalk from the Margaritaville-themed complex inside Resorts Casino Hotel. Both are expected to open this spring. Photo: www.buffettinfo.com

THE WEATHER outside continues to be frightful, but the summer is nonetheless on its way. And some of Atlantic City’s casinos are poised to take full advantage of their locations on the Atlantic Ocean.

Currently, four beach bars are scheduled to open in time for the Memorial Day weekend—twice as many as operated last year.

Chuck Darrow @ 11:12 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, March 15, 2013, 9:11 AM
Blog Image
The 700-seat performance venue known as The Social will play a larger role in Revel's marketing strategy. Photo: www.revelresorts.com.

When Revel opened a little less than a year ago, the management team then in place made it a point to emphasize how important The Social, the mega-resort’s 700-seat showroom located adjacent to the casino floor, was going to be to the property’s marketing strategy.

For reasons that need not be rehashed here (check the monthly gaming revenue numbers if you need clarification) that never really happened; the room has been utilized mostly as a weekend “cover” band venue. But that’s about to change with the unveiling of a new strategy for The Social.

“One of my thoughts was, we have the room, we should start programming [Sunday through Thursday],” said Darlene Monzo, Revel’s recently hired senior vice president of marketing. “It has top notch sound and lights and great acoustics.”

Chuck Darrow @ 9:11 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog
Philly native Chuck Darrow has literally covered Atlantic City’s casino scene since Day One: He was there on assignment the night in November 1976 when voters approved legalized casinos.

Since then, Chuck has covered the town and its gaming industry for several area newspapers -- which is why, in some circles, he’s known as “Boardwalk Charlie.”

You can reach Chuck at darrowc@phillynews.com. Reach Chuck at darrowc@phillynews.com.

Chuck Darrow