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Swimming And Gambling Coming To Harrah's Resort In Atlantic City

Atlantic City casinos are constantly trying to find ways to keep their clientele happy and coming back. At a time when competition reigns supreme, the AC casinos are having to reinvent themselves with new ways to keep gamblers spending money when they are not on the casino floor.

Harrah's Resort is turning to a theory that has already been tested in Las Vegas, casinos offering blackjack tables on the pool deck. The tables would allow gamblers to sit in their bathing suits and gamble, instead of having to choose to do one or the other. It is a plan that Harrah's President Don Marrandino believes can be successful.

"There are at least five casinos in Vegas that have blackjack by the pool," said Marrandino. "I think we should take learnings from there and use it here to make things more unique."

The uniqueness of Atlantic City has long worn off since the days when the New Jersey gaming industry was the only one in town. In recent years, competition from neighboring states that offer casino gambling has hit an all-time high. Maryland, Maine, New York, Delaware, and now even Massachusetts, have all authorized new gaming facilities in the past five years.

The plan for poolside gambling is not a slam dunk. Gaming regulators in New Jersey still need to sign off on the deal, although Marradino does not anticipate there will be any problems on that end. The Tropicana Casino and Resort recently was approved to operate gambling machines and tables at The Quarter, which is a shopping center.

Other AC casinos have attempted to rejuvenate the Boardwalk this year. Resorts, Atlantic City's oldest casino, was transformed with a Prohibition Era theme. New owner Dennis Gomes came in and shook up the resort, changing the cocktail waitress uniforms and adding the city's first gay nightclub. A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Gomes on behalf of former waitresses who claim they were fired because of how they looked in the new uniforms. Gomes and his lawyers have denied that any waitress was let go based on their looks.

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