- Associated Press - Thursday, September 29, 2011

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The latest casino promotion in Atlantic City gives new meaning to “going bust.”

The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort plans to give $25,000 worth of plastic surgery to a winner from a player’s card contest. The lucky one can mix and match surgeries including breast enhancements, tummy tucks, liposuction and face lifts until the total hits $25,000.

“We wanted to change the face of a typical casino promotion, and with this one we are literally doing it,” said Kathleen McSweeney, senior vice president of marketing for Trump Entertainment Resorts.

“Many people have something they want to change; a nip and tuck here, a lift there, but the cost of these procedures can be quite costly,” McSweeney said. “This promotion will allow the winner the opportunity to get the procedures of their choice.”


Indeed it is. According to the web site infoplasticsurgery.com, which the casinos cite in their promotion, an arm lift can cost $5,000 to $6,500; Botox treatments range from $200 to $400 per area; breast augmentation surgery costs from $5,000 to $8,000; chin or cheek implants cost $3,000 to $4,500; and liposuction can range from $2,500 to $10,000.

A face-lift costs $7,000 to $9,000; nose surgery $5,000 to $6,000; and eyelid tucks $4,000 to $5,500 (upper and lower included).

“People often want this surgery but they’re reluctant to spend their own money to do it,” McSweeney said. “Whether it’s kids’ tuition, or the mortgage or they just don’t have that kind of money, this is their opportunity to get it done.”

Players can earn credits toward the contest from Oct. 2 through 29. The winner must be present with his or her player’s card inserted into a machine when the prize is awarded on Oct. 29.

The winner can opt for the $25,000 prize in cash if he or she doesn’t want the surgery.

But a medical professional worries the promotion could set a bad precedent by pairing two potentially compulsive behaviors.

Dr. Eda Gorbis — an assistant professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and founder of the Westwood Institute for Anxiety Disorders in Los Angeles — said she’s already seen cases of people struggling with excessive plastic surgery and excessive gambling, and has grown concerned about the connections.

“Definitely one thing reinforces the other one,” she said. “Both are addictions, and they’re bad addictions.”

But she conceded the promotion may well mean good business for the casino.

“That’s how they will attract a lot of clients,” she said.

Associated Press writer Kevin Begos in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.