Thursday, April 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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
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
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
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
POSTED: Friday, April 5, 2013, 10:06 AM
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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
POSTED: Friday, March 22, 2013, 11:12 AM
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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
POSTED: Friday, March 15, 2013, 9:11 AM
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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
POSTED: Friday, March 1, 2013, 8:56 AM
Atlantic Club chief financial officer, Michael Frawley, head of the smallest gambling hall at the seaside resort stands in the hotel lobby of his resort. They seem like strange bedfellows, but with Gov. Christie weighing on whether to sign off on legalizing Internet gaming in the Garden State, it all makes sense. Rational Group US Holdings, the parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, is asking New Jersey casino regulators for permission to buy the tiny Atlantic Club . Atlantic Club chief financial officer, Michael Frawley, head of the smallest gambling hall at the seaside resort - and its workforce of 1,700. ATLANTIC01 01/30/2013 ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer )

Atlantic City’s long-ailing gaming industry is celebrating this week’s signing of a bill by Gov. Chris Christie that legalizes intrastate online gambling.

For the most part, a celebration is in order as casino biz analysts put the potential windfall from digital gaming in nine figures annually. But upon further review, the question is begged: At what price will AyCee benefit from cyber-wagering?

Chuck Darrow @ 8:56 AM  Permalink | 0
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