Darryl McEwen

{standaloneHead}Darryl McEwen{/standaloneHead}

Lines. We’ve all stood in them.

Here are some tips to reduce those waits and give you more time in the casino.


Unless it’s a sit-down dinner, don’t go to the ballroom until at least 15 minutes after the doors open. I’ve seen lines starting to form at 6:30 for a 7 o’clock cocktail reception/buffet. Why stand in line for 30 minutes? By 7:15 there will be no line and, trust me, the casino is not going to run out of food or liquor.

If you really must sit with friends, designate one person to go early and hold seats.

Once inside, resist the temptation to get into the buffet line. After 15 or 20 minutes the lines for food probably will be non-existent.

Instead, relax and get a cocktail. But don’t stand in another line near the front of the room. Go to the rear and you’ll probably find one or two bars with no lines.

Now, finish your drink. Get another. Go back to your table. Put down your drink.

See, I told you, that long line for food is gone. Now you can start filling your plate.

But, please, don’t fill it up with a little (or a lot) of everything that looks good. Remember, you can go back as often as you like.

I’ve seen plates piled high with shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, roast beef and turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and even a piece of cherry pie. It was not a pretty sight!

Eat in courses, just like you would at a nice restaurant. You probably have to stick around anyway until they don’t draw your name for $1,000 in free play or a new car.


Most casinos give you four or five hours to pick-up a free gift card or piece of luggage.

I’ve seen people show up 30 minutes early – granted, many times these giveaways begin earlier than announced. Unless they’re at the head of the line, many still have to wait another 30 to 45 minutes.

Unless you really have to be somewhere else, show up as late as possible — even up until 15 minutes before it ends. I guarantee you won’t have to wait five minutes.

‘VIP’ Check-In

Just because you have a casino’s highest level players card you don’t have to use its private VIP check-in.

I’ve seen 25 people crammed inside one room, literally spilling out the door. This, despite the fact that there was no one at the “regular” front desk — which had a dedicated line for top-level players.

Swallow your pride and check-in quicker. You always can impress your friends on a future trip.

Recreational gambler Darryl D. McEwen, a former professional journalist, is president of his own consulting firm that manages several small national and international trade associations, and provides public relations and fundraising services for a number of charitable organizations. Have a comment on this or a question specifically related to an Atlantic City casino, players club or other promotion? Email Darryl at MrACCasino@gmail.com and he’ll try to respond to you personally. Your question — without your name — may appear in a future column.

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