I took a spring trip to Atlantic City to cover live gaming for PlayNJ. I did not know what to expect. I have heard a few people say positive things about it, especially after five casinos closed in the city.
I went with an open mind. I actually found it to be somewhere I would probably visit again. I had a good time even by myself. I enjoyed it so much that I plan to return with my wife soon.
Arriving at Harrah’s Atlantic City
I stayed at Harrah’s in a Waterfront room. The check-in process was simple and quick. The room was on the higher end of average with nothing that stood out. The view from the room includes Borgata.
I started out playing at Harrah’s. I chose 25-play Joker Poker for nickels. It had a $2,600 progressive for getting dealt five of a kind. I have played Joker Poker as my main game in Las Vegas for six years. It’s only happened to me twice.
I met many regulars that struck up a conversation with me. I believe that they knew I was not a regular as I was there on a weekday.
Most wanted to complain about something. The venting was usually related to other patrons or casino staff, though some seemed generally unhappy with Atlantic City as a whole. I did not experience any of these problems the players told me to look out for.
I took a cab to Borgata. There is not a good way to walk to it, even though they are next door to each other. I checked out the casino, and it was much larger than I expected. It reminded me of the MGM Grand before the casino floor contracted. Borgata might even be larger. It is a great property.
I called it a night. I planned on driving to the Boardwalk the next day. A snafu with the parking gate at Harrah’s put an end to that idea.
I had to take a cab because the line to leave was almost all the way to the top of the deck. I was told there were major gate malfunctions, combined with a conference letting out. It was a total mess.
A visit to the AC Boardwalk
I took a cab to Tropicana Atlantic City. The casino reminded me of the Riviera in Las Vegas with all the brass. I played some Five Joker Poker and left.
Then, I walked down to Caesars to check it out. I walked through Wild Wild West before going into Bally’s. I found Caesars and Bally’s to be nearly identical in terms of games and impression.
Next, I walked down to Resorts. It was exactly as I expected in terms of size and impression. After finishing there, I took a cab to Golden Nugget.
The wonders of Golden Nugget AC
Golden Nugget turned out to be my favorite of the seven casinos that were open on my trip. (Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort had not opened yet when I visited, but I am sure I will return to visit the new kids on the block.)
Golden Nugget spreads some old video poker games that I enjoy and are hard to find. These titles are on Gamemaker machines. Golden Nugget also has quarter and dollar denomination ones. Let It Ride, Pick’em Poker, and Gold Mine Poker are among my favorites.
I liked the overall feel of Golden Nugget. Its restaurants and lounges were branded identically to the one in downtown Las Vegas. The staff was extremely friendly here, and the drink service was perfect.
They have a $100 new player offer, in which a new player has until six the next morning to earn enough slot points to receive up to $100 in free play. However, I do not think most players would be able to get more than $30 or $40.
Calling it a night in Atlantic City
I called it a night around 1 a.m. I decided to walk from Golden Nugget to Harrah’s. There is a path between the two casinos that partially runs along a highway off-ramp. I did encounter a security guard along the way that thought I was crazy. But I felt completely safe and thought he overreacted.
I am ready to return to visit the Atlantic City casinos. With the two new resorts, a trip to AC means there are nine casinos and a lot more action to check out.