Day: January 14th, 2007

On the boardwalk

Sunday, January 14th, 2007 | All Things, Family, Travel

An unseasonably warm Sunday in Atlantic City, on the longest boardwalk in the world:

Steel Pier

Steel Pier

Atlantic City Stand

Atlantic City Stand

Boardwalk Seagulls

Atlantic City Boardwalk

Fralingers

Atlantic City Boardwalk

From New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., Greyhound offers Lucky Streak service to various Atlantic City casinos with fare reimbursement incentives. The refund amounts differ by casino (AC Hilton, Bally’s, Caesars, Resorts, Sands, Showboat, Taj Mahal, Tropicana, Trump Plaza or Trump Marina), and by the time and day of the trip. In NYC, riders pay the full price of the roundtrip ticket (about $30) and receive a casino coupon for some portion of the Greyhound bus fare. Upon arrival, casino representatives distribute coupons for gaming credits (or cash exchange).

Gambling has a long history in China, with some evidence suggesting that wagering on games of chance originated there over 3,000 years ago. Today, social gambling in the form of mahjong playing is common in China and among Chinese overseas. Government-approved lottery games are available to 95% of China’s cities and counties.

Gambling addiction is widely recognized as a major problem in the Chinese and Chinese-American communities. Statistics are difficult to come by, but by some estimates, 2 to 6 percent of the mainstream population are problem gamblers; among Chinese, where gambling is often an accepted practice at home and at social events (even among the young), the numbers are considerably higher. For an immigrant community, gambling offers a form of cross-cultural entertainment with no language barrier.

Many casinos recognize the Chinese love of gambling and market aggressively to that sector. Chinese-language newspapers offer their Asian patrons even better deals than the ones available through Greyhound. Several Atlantic City casinos work with Chinese bus companies to charge their patrons a discounted price for the roundtrip fare,¬†and offer more significant rider reimbursements in chips, meal discounts, or in our case: cold, hard cash. The roundtrip bus fare from Chinatown was $15; upon disembarking at the Showboat Casino at boardwalk’s end, we each were handed envelopes with $25 in cash. So yes, even after discounting¬†the mandatory tips to the bus driver, we still made money on the trip.

That is, before factoring in our buffet lunch at the Taj Majal‘s “Sultan’s Feast.” Ah well. When in Agra…

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