Darryl D. McEwen

Casino gift shops are great for picking up souvenir t-shirts or the daily newspaper, but don’t plan to restock your medicine cabinet.

A friend who forgot to pack toothpaste got a shock when a tube with less than an ounce cost more than $4. Her hometown grocery store sells these travel sizes for 99 cents.

To be fair, many hotel gift shops overcharge because they’re providing these products as a convenience. However, some full-service hotels like Sheraton and Hyatt provide them free to guests.

Here are some ways to save money when you you’ve forgotten one of these personal items:

Use comp dollars. f you have them, all casino gift shops accept comps for purchases. However, not all casinos treat them equally.

At Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa they’ll add the sales tax, and then take your comps at a 2:1 ratio ($2 in comps for a $4 purchase).

At Resorts Casino Hotel, Tropicana Atlantic City and Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort they also add the tax, but your comp dollars are accepted 1:1.

At Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Golden Nugget Atlantic City and Harrah’s Resort the tax is forgiven and comps are accepted 1:1.

Get a discount based on your tier level. At Bally’s, Caesars and Harrah’s your Total Rewards card level determines your discount, but for cash/credit card purchases only. Seven Stars cardholders get a 25 percent discount; Diamond and Platinum get 20 and 15, respectively. You’ll also earn Reward Credits (comp dollars) on your purchases. Borgata Black Label cardholders get a 10 percent discount whether paying cash or using comps.

Buy elsewhere. Rite-Aid and 7-Eleven have locations within a short walk from Bally’s on Pacific Avenue, and from Tropicana on Atlantic. Also on Pacific there’s a CVS and a 7-Eleven not far from Resorts, and a Rite-Aid not far from Tropicana. Prices at Rite-Aid and CVS are a little less than 7-Eleven.

Ask Mr. AC Casino

Q. What happened to those celebrity handprints that used to be displayed along the Boardwalk at the rear of Resorts?

A. Rest assured that they are safely stored and ready to be put back on display at some future date. In honor of what would have been Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday last year you still can see Sinatra’s handprints in the lobby along with a little history of his nearly 100 performances in the casino’s showroom.

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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