Catie Di Stefano’s Trip Review – Getting to Resorts Casino AC
Hi there! Are you curious about how a casino resort experience would look in Atlantic City in 2022? Through this review, I will bring you to Atlantic City and we will explore together!
My name is Catie Di Stefano, and I am the Director of Community Marketing at OnlineGamblers.com. I usually prefer playing online casinos, but in July 2022, I decided to check out different land-based casino resorts in the Garden State to understand the various comps offered by the properties.
I have a vendor license by DGE to operate in New Jersey as a Marketing Consultant, thanks to earlier partnering with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. During 2018-2022, I helped Hard Rock migrate its gambling operations from offline to online, where my experience in the European online gambling market came in handy.
Before Hard Rock, I have 11 years of experience working with major brands like Betsson and GiG across several jurisdictions. I also co-founded Weberfy.se, which specializes in helping the iGaming and Cannabis industry with VIP management, CRM, and Marketing.
In my current role, I educate on healthy gambling habits and regulations in the US.
Atlantic City Casinos
The first time I visited Atlantic City was in 2013 with my parents on a US east coast road trip. I had worked in the gambling industry for two years and was still employed in Malta as casino customer support at the time. AC in my mind was linked with outlet shopping and I had heard about Golden Nugget.
My dad pointed to the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, saying that maybe one day I would be working there too. At that point, I laughed off my dad’s suggestion and said it was impossible. 1) I wasn’t American, and 2) Online Gambling wasn’t legal in the US. In 2013, Donald Trump’s old hotel Taj Mahal was still on the boardwalk. But in 2018 the Taj Mahal was replaced with the new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Imagine my surprise when I was hired in 2018 to remotely help launch the online casino for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. I worked with Hard Rock until 2022 when I went to join Online Gamblers.
Because of the pandemic, I never visited the Hard Rock AC property when I worked with them remotely. However, Online Gamblers were kind enough to make it happen! How lucky was I to get a ticket to the actual casino world?!
Continue reading to learn about my experience finding the best casinos in Atlantic City in the summer of 2022!
Getting to AC from NYC
In my first weeks with Online Gamblers, Online Gamblers sent me to New Jersey for a conference. I decided to extend my trip to Atlantic City with a few gambling days. My visit in 2022 was three nights, from July 7th until July 10th. It was just after the new casino strikes had been sorted out, and everything had gone back to normal after the pandemic. The idea was to compare hotels and several casinos to understand their loyalty programs, the popular games, and, most importantly – the AC casino community.
I stayed one night each at Hard Rock Hotel, Bally’s Hotel, and Borgata Hotel and gambled at Resorts Casino, Tropicana Casino, and Caesars Casino in Atlantic City.
The Greyhound Bus
The drive from New York to Atlantic City is approximately 2,5 hours. In 2013 my parents drove the car from NYC to AC, but I was traveling solo this time in July 2022. I decided to take the Greyhound bus from Bus Port Authority on 8th Avenue this time. I took the bus around lunchtime to avoid traffic jams. And that gave me extra time to hit the slots before check-in time.
The service at Greyhound was good for a low-price company, as I also got to check in one extra bag for free on the bus on top of the included under-bus bag. I paid $85 for a return ticket between Atlantic City and New York.
I rode the bus on a Thursday, but it was still fully packed, with many people ready to try their luck. Most passengers were groups with friends, couples, or retired solo travelers. I was probably the only female solo traveler on the bus, so I made friends with my bus neighbor. He was a retired veteran who regularly went to AC to play slots and drink with his retired friends. In July 2022, there was still mask enforcement from covid-19, and all passengers had to wear masks. Take a sneak peek at my bus journey below:
Resorts World Casino Atlantic City
The Greyhound bus from New York stopped at Resorts World. I just want to give a shout-out to the Resorts-employees who worked at the bus station. They were so friendly, helpful and welcoming. As an additional thank you for booking my Greyhound ticket from the Greyhound outlet at Bus Port Authority, I got a $20 slots voucher to use at Resorts Casino.
To claim the $20 slots voucher at Resorts Casino from The Greyhound bus, I needed to register for a loyalty card. The registration had to be done at Resorts World, the cashier desk. There was about 20 minutes queue just to get to service. Also, it was only one cashier desk open on a Thursday afternoon. Once I got to the desk, the registration went quickly. I gave them my passport, and they promptly printed out a membership card for me with $20 added to the card to use on the slots.
I only spent the free voucher from Greyhound in the casino, but I still cashed out $40, so I doubled the money! The casino otherwise felt outdated, and the selection of slots was minimal. My biggest concern was that all jackpots on the slots were very low, maybe just a few thousand dollars.
One interesting thing I noticed at Resorts was that they supplied sports betting machines from DraftKings, but I didn’t notice any sports book lounge. Check out the video if you want to see more from my trip on the Greyhound bus and my time at Resorts Casino. It was filmed with my smart Ray-Ban sunglasses by Meta/Facebook.
In the following article, I will continue my Atlantic City journey and experience at the Hard Rock Resort.