News on tournaments and other action in casino poker rooms
Here are some stories that have landed in my in-box from around the Atlantic City casino scene as poker players get prepared for the Borgata Spring Poker Open, which got underway Wednesday, April 4 (that’s a little too tight for us to have early results by press time).
• The battle between the Meadowlands — where many North Jersey legislators would like to see a casino built — and Atlantic City may be heating up again. Assembly Democrats plan to hold public hearings later this year on the merits of bringing a casino to the Meadowlands.
This has thrilled the state’s horse-racing industry, which figures that a Meadowlands casino would only prop up racing at the site and, hopefully, revitalize the entire New Jersey horse-racing industry.
“We need to at least discuss the idea of bringing casino-style gambling to the Meadowlands and whether it has the potential to create jobs, incentivize the local economy and position New Jersey’s gaming industry to better compete against the casinos that have cropped up in neighboring states,” said Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver of Essex County.
A Meadowlands casino, however, has been opposed by Governor Chris Christie and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (among other legislators), who feel gambling in North Jersey would be a threat to Atlantic City.
“We just did the legislation to try to help and save Atlantic City. We’re not going to give it a chance to work?” Sweeney told The Associated Press, referring to the bill he sponsored, signed by Christie, creating a tourism district within Atlantic City and funneling tens of millions of dollars into improving public safety, marketing and infrastructure development.
Christie said it’s not the time to look at other options, adding, “Our focus must remain with Atlantic City to continue its revitalization and its comeback.”
Still, those Meadowlands advocates aren’t likely to give up the fight any time soon.
• With Revel now open (well, a soft opening “preview” until Memorial Day), some people are beginning to notice a trend in the casino’s advertising.
And that basically is that there’s little or no mention of Revel’s casino or gambling options in their ads.
Advertising for the Revel has focused on the casino’s concert and show schedule, restaurants, spa and other resort amenities. But there’s been hardly a mention of the property’s casino (and its new 37-table poker room).
According to a report in The New York Times, that’s hardly an oversight.
Sid Yu, Revel’s senior vice president for brand and revenue, tells the newspaper that the decision to play down the casino is deliberate.
“Our creative strategy ties back to our business strategy,” he said. “We are an experiential company. We’re trying to get the leisure and lifestyle customer to Revel. Some will come and gamble, and some will not.”
Since January, Revel has been running a $15- to $20-million ad campaign throughout the Northeast.
Yu said Revel’s target market was “leisure and lifestyle consumers” among the 47 million people age 21 and over who live within a five-hour drive of Atlantic City.
“We’re focusing on lifestyle passions of foodies, on getaways for women, retail, fashion, wellness, the spa, music lovers,” he added. “It’s for people who dine and shop in the meat-packing district in New York and care about Fashion Week.”
• The Tropicana has announced some new initiatives, which include an expansion of slot machines in The Quarter.
The casino is adding 20 more machines into The Quarter, it’s popular nightlife, restaurant and shopping wing. Some of the machines are based on the film The Hangover and others are Playboy themed.
The casino installed 10 slot machines at The Quarter in November in an experiment to bring more gaming options out to its nightlife customers.
The experiment is, apparently, working.