A.C. casinos’ comp policy not a good bet, study says

A new study says casinos in Atlantic City are relying too much on free rooms and meals to attract gamblers.


Atlantic City Casinos that give away rooms should refocus their marketing toward free parking and travel reimbursements, according to Seul Ki Lee, the Temple University professor who co-authored the study.

Lee, who teaches at Temple’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, says the traditional “comps” are not bringing in new business.

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“It has been used to take away gamers from nearby casinos, so they are essentially competing for the same demand when they are using rooms, food and beverages,” Lee said.

The study’s numbers are deceptive because a casino room is perishable, argues Tony Rodio, who heads Tropicana Entertainment.

“A hotel room that goes unused for a night is an opportunity that is lost forever, and to have it sit empty doesn’t do any good at all,” he said.

Rodio says Atlantic City is marketing itself as a destination, with amenities that casinos in Philadelphia and surrounding states don’t have. Those amenities include hotel rooms.

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