But that law was eventually repealed, leaving it to the market to determine what was profitable and what was not. As a result, many of the casinos stopped hosting their own house shows, focusing on bringing in big stars for a one- or two-night stand.
That worked for a while, when Atlantic City was the only game in town unless you wanted to hop a plane to Nevada. But the resort lost its East Coast monopoly when casinos opened in Connecticut. The advent of casinos in neighboring Pennsylvania in late 2006 touched off a decline that still plagues Atlantic City more than four years later. The resort has lost nearly a third of its business since then, falling from $5.2 billion in 2006 to $3.6 billion in 2010.
Nowadays, any opportunity to bring more people through the casino doors is being pursued.
The Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort has “Boardwalk Follies” running through April 3. The show centers on a singer and several variety acts, including an aerial act called “The Aerial Sisters.” The Hilton is seeking a new source of customers _ especially cash-paying ones _ as it attempts to sell itself, having stopped paying its mortgage two years ago.
The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort has a long-running musical variety show “Almost Angels,” featuring a lingerie-clad female vocal group reminiscent of The Pussycat Dolls.
The Tropicana Casino and Resort will present “Best Of Broadway” next month, while Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City will feature the a cappella group Straight No Chaser for 10 weeks during the summer. Caesars Atlantic City will feature Human Nature and a salute to Motown, followed by Chazz Palminteri and his one-man show “A Bronx Tale,” patterned after the hit movie of the same name.
Bally’s Atlantic City will host “The Price Is Right,” and later in the summer, “Legends In Concert,” the popular celebrity tribute act.
Gomes, the Resorts president, sums up the appeal of the casino stage show succinctly.
“You’ll see the most beautiful rear ends you’ve ever seen in your life,” he said.