More Atlantic City casinos are promoting sex and racy imagery to stay lucrative in the face of growing competition from casinos in neighboring states. Dennis Gomes, the owner of Restorts Atlantic City, started the trend of sex sells with skimpy cocktail waitress outfits and an after-hours gay nightclub.
The Boardwalk's Tropicana Casino and Resorts has followed suit by unveiling a party pit, where female blackjack and roulette dealers will wear little more than lingerie. Tropicana needs all the help it can get, as its strategy of targeting high-stakes gamblers has backfired - at least temporarily.
Last week, an unindentified man won $5.3 million dollars at the craps table at Tropicana. In April, another gambler took the casino for $5.8 million.
Both players are among the ultra-rich whale demographic the casino has been targeting with its high-stakes games, a strategy impelmented by billionaire Carl Icahn when he took over the struggling casino last year. The idea was to quickly re-infuse large sums of cash into the casino.
That's just how it goes sometimes; if you bet more, you can win more, Tony Rodio, Tropicana's president and CEO, told the Associated Press. We have a strategy of offering the most aggressive and highest table games limits in the Atlantic City market and we're not going to change that. If someone wants to take the shot, we'll take the action.
Last week's big winner was betting over $100,000 a throw at the craps table. He left a $150,000 tip on his way out, which was divided among tables dealers.
In April, a Pennsylvania man by the name of Don Johnson took the casino for $5.8 million dollars in blackjack winnings. Under the new strategy, the blackjack tables now allow players to bet up to $50,000 a hand.
ccording to Rodio, the new approach has been serving the Tropicana well, and there are no plans to modify it in light of the recent setbacks.
Mr. Icahn is personally very supportive of this strategy, and he understands that there are fluctuations with it, he said.
Rodio added that Icahn plans to personally invite Johnson back to the casino.
The Associated Press announced this past weekend that Tropicana Casino and Resort had reached deals with unions representing painters and carpenters, ending a multi-week stalemate.