Trip to Caesars ACJust got back from an overnight trip to Caesars AC. I went down with two friends that I used to work with - we all had comp'd rooms that we booked on Harrah's Total Rewards website. The casino floor was very empty, even for a Thursday night. They had six 3-card poker tables with no one at them - dealers were looking quite lonely. The Asian pit was also almost empty - with only two people playing at the two open Pai Gow Poker tables and one or two others at the regular Pai Gow table. Even the "Ho-ga" Bar was almost empty (this is really called the Toga Bar, but it is typically a very popular meeting point for the AC working girls). I stayed in the South Temple Tower, which is one of the old ones but the rooms have been redone, with flat screen TVs and nice furnishings.
My friends and I played Pai Gow Poker for about 8 hours - the dealers were fun and the drink service was very good. On about the 12th hand of the night, I got a royal flush with a $5 fortune bonus bet - so that was a nice $750 payout for me and $50 envy payouts for the rest of the table. Then about 4 hours later, one of my friends also got a royal - and I got a straight flush on the same hand. All in all, I ended the night up about $1900 - so a very good night for that much time at a game with a 2.5% house edge and even worse edge on the fortune bet - but the high variance of the fortune bet is why I like PGP so much...
By the time we left the table, the only restaurant open in the casino was a place called the Cafe Roma - my advice to anyone else who finds themselves looking for food at Caesar's at 4 am is DO NOT GO to Cafe Roma - find a vending machine instead. The menu looked promising with a good selection of appetizers and sandwiches - but the food was awful. We had fried dumplings that appeared to have been taken from a frozen food box and microwaved. I had a chicken sandwich that was horrible and my buddies both had the monte cristo sandwich that was equally bad.
As a side note, we often play some at Bally's Wild West, which is connected to Caesar's - but the table games at Wild West are now only open on weekends - starting at "high noon" on Friday's. The next morning, we walked over to the regular Bally's casino to pick up our $30 direct bet coupons. I find the direct bet offers there to be very annoying since they restrict how they can be used - for example, to use the direct bet on roulette, you have to bet on either red or even, bets on black or odd are not allowed - not sure what kind of advantage they think you might get if you could bet on black. We used our coupons at blackjack. The dealer was not very pleasant - he was an older gentleman who told us how much he knew about the game and how he could predict if we were going to lose based on how we played our cards - stuff like "if you stay on a 14,15,16 when I have a 7 up, I can tell you what will happen". Most of what he said was correct (by the book), but it was annoying to have to listen to it - and it came off as very condescending. So after about 15 hands we left to play a little more Pai Gow. Nothing exciting, so we headed back to Caesars and then decided to drive back to Philly.
The monthly revenue figures for AC appear to have bottomed out - with Sept numbers showing revenue improvements for most casinos over 2010, but it is clear the new base revenue level is way smaller than the heyday - the crowds are just so much smaller. But still a nice side trip and more of an adventure than going to Harrah's Chester.
Cafe Roma used to be OK for lunch, but we haven't been there for a couple years at least, and never at 4AM. Nice, on the good fortune bets!
I think they make you choose red/even to keep players from teaming up and splitting the results.
Caesar's used to be my favorite AC casino, about 5-6 years ago, but the people who worked there whom I liked retired or moved on, and the last couple times we played there we got a bad vibe from the place and haven't returned.
What a cheap place to prohibit Freeplay straddles. Only Red or Even means no one can take those Direct Bet certificates and have guaranteed win on half the amount. Married locals would find that a pleasant start to an evening, so perhaps why the place is so empty.
OK with me if they bottom out at ZERO!
It seems that AC is 'surviving' solely on the Fri-Sun play, as the few times I've been in the slow period, it mirrors what you've described. However, I've never heard of it so dead like you describe. I have a friend that hasn't been to Caesars in 2 years and they are practically begging him to come back - he's sworn off AC completely.
I'm torn now that Chester has tiles though, it's an hour closer to me, which would make a day trip doable versus the AC overnighter...
Atlantic City needs to lose about 3 casinos to stay competitive and be appropriately balanced. Wild Wild West serves as nothing more than a walkway between Bally's and Caesars; the South end casinos (Trop and Hilton) could be gone, leave Caesars, Trump Plaza, Bally's, Revel, Trump Taj, Showboat, and the three Marina casinos, and I think you'd start to see some improvements.
You would think that the casinos would try to IMPROVE service at critical levels, but instead, they cut and cut and cut until nobody wants to stay/play there anymore. 9 casinos would still allow them to be competitive, and casinos could select the best staff from the remaining bodies.