Remembering the Sands, Atlantic City’s coolest ‘old school’ casino; new Pittsburgh gaming hall names opening date


The first duty of this weekly train is to maintain those that are all for such issues up-to-date on the enjoyable and video games in Atlantic Metropolis and Pennsylvania casinos. As such, we beg your indulgence as this installment of The On line casino File as a substitute turns its gaze to the previous.

13 years in the past this month, the primary (and still-only demolition of an AyCee casino-hotel occurred as, in a mere 20 seconds, the Sands Hotel & Casino crumbled to the bottom amidst a sound-and-light extravaganza designed to rev up pleasure for what was supposed to switch it: A $2 billion, ocean-and-beach themed mega-resort to be constructed by Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Leisure.

The deliberate pleasure dome by no means materialized—a sufferer of the Nice Recession of the late-2000s—and the midtown website on which sat the Sands stays a vacant lot. Fittingly, just like the Sands itself, Pinnacle years in the past ceased to exist (it was absorbed by Penn National Gaming).

However the reminiscences of the property, which opened in August, 1980 because the Brighton (it turned the Sands in Could, 1981) and closed in November, 2006, stay among the many most treasured of this long-time on line casino observer.

To make certain, the Sands all the time had its points: It was small (the lodge tower was by no means greater than a handful of items over the state-mandated 500-room minimal) and it was the one non-Marina-District property that didn’t open straight onto the Boardwalk, because it was set again a metropolis block as a result of the land between it and the Nice Wooden Means had a distinct proprietor for a lot of the on line casino’s existence. However that didn’t hold the Sands from being an trade chief, notably within the realm of leisure.

The Sands’ efficiency house was the 850-seat Copa Room—which was additionally the title of the legendary present biz venue on the Las Vegas Sands (the on line casino licensed its title, and that of the Copa Room, from the Vegas authentic). It was the quintessential old-school gaming corridor showroom, a carpeted, upholstered and tiered nightclub that had lengthy, rectangular tables in addition to a number of rows of plush, horseshoe-shaped cubicles for the largest of massive gamers and different VIPs.

Each the sightlines and acoustics have been great—arguably the city’s gold requirements. And the ambiance was second to none; the Copa screamed “Rat Pack!”

Initially, the Sands hewed to a normal casino-entertainment technique, reserving headliners (e.g. Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Don Rickles) most well-liked by middle-aged and older gamblers. However within the mid-1980s, a younger expertise booker named Tom Cantone was employed away from Hershey Park to run the leisure division. It was a most vital hiring.

Cantone, who right this moment serves as vice-president of sports activities & leisure for the ever-expanding Mohegan Solar gaming empire, booked his share of conventional gaming corridor sights. However in 1985, he bucked prevailing knowledge and signed Eddie Murphy, who had risen to mega-stardom on Saturday Night Live and was simply starting his run as a movie-and-standup big.

on line casino would showcase an act whose major viewers was not the playing crowd was extraordinary, and the trade’s outdated guard was skeptical (if not derisive) of the reserving. However Cantone (in addition to the sold-out Copa Room crowds) had the final chuckle, and a brand new period in on line casino leisure was launched.

From there, the Sands repeatedly pulled forward of the curve by reserving, amongst others, Robin Williams; Jerry Seinfeld (pre-Seinfeld); Linda Ronstadt; the trio previously generally known as the Dixie Chicks (now simply The Chicks); The Pretenders and even Bob Dylan, whose ostensibly incongruous efficiency of “Masters of Battle,” considered one of his most strident protest songs, on the Copa is indelibly saved in my reminiscence.

The Copa Room was additionally the place Cher turned the first-ever AyCee headliner to command $200 for a ticket (in August, 1989; after I requested her if she thought she was value it, she replied she didn’t assume any performer was). And it was the final native venue to have hosted Frank Sinatra (his ultimate gig there was November 20, 1994).

When, in 1990, Cantone left to run the present enterprise operations on the three casinos then owned by Donald Trump (he subsequently returned for a second stint), his successor, Jim Clever (now vice-president of selling at FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Mich.), continued the adventurous reserving technique.

On the danger of sounding just like the nostalgia-wallowing outdated geezer that I’m, I’d give something to see only one extra present on the Copa Room. And I’m positive anybody who was lucky sufficient to have additionally attended a efficiency there would fortunately be part of me.

In Pennsylvania

Dwell! Pittsburg units opening date

Pennsylvania’s latest on line casino will open for enterprise on the Westmoreland Mall in suburban Greensburg, Pa at 10 a.m. on Nov. 24 pending the (anticipated) “okey-dokey” from the Pennsylvania Gaming Management Board.

The bi-level Live! Casino Pittsburgh, whose “mini-casino” license limits its 100,000 sq. toes to 750 state-of-the-art slot machines and a few 30 live-action table video games, boasts the FanDuel-branded sports-betting parlor housed contained in the two-floor Sports activities & Social Metal Metropolis, an adults-only facility that gives friends a 45-foot LED video display screen on which as many as 16 video games will be screened concurrently.

The house consists of full eating and beverage service and plenty of interactive actions together with bowling, simulated golf and ping pong.

Whereas the primary ground is, after all, restricted to of us on the far aspect of 21, the higher stage is an all-ages complicated that includes leisure and meals choices together with Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen + Bar.

Dwell! Pittsburgh is a undertaking of Cordish Gaming, which is planning to open Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia adjoining to Citizens Bank Park, more than likely within the first quarter of 2021.



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