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Harrah's all set to boogie with The Sunshine Experience
Posted in: In The News on Wednesday, January 04, 2017

With the tribute scene hotter than ever, the competition is getting tough. So what can a band do to solve this? Be the only game in town. “We are the only tribute to KC and the Sunshine Band in the world,” says Stevie Bensusen, lead vocalist for The Sunshine Experience, a Los Angeles-based tribute to KC and The Sunshine Band that comes to The Showroom at Harrah’s Resort 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan 5. Competition aside, it seems that KC was a smart choice from a marketing perspective as well. According to Bensusen, the appeal of his band is about as wide as it gets. “When we were looking at all the acts, from an ethnic perspective it made sense. KC is one of the only acts you can put in front of an all-white audience, an all-black audience or a mixed audience, because that’s how much his music transcended all of that. We were looking to form a tribute that could perform anywhere. He is the one who came up.” That was four years ago. Since then the band has toured everywhere from the West Coast to the east and around the world, with audiences eating it up wherever they go. While the music of KC and The Sunshine Band may have been released 40 years ago, there are elements of it that are coming back around today, making the band appealing to audiences of all ages. “Anybody who likes Bruno Mars ... even young kids — they may not know who KC is but they have heard those songs. And if they haven’t they will stop and say ‘man that sounds like Uptown Funk!’ When you go to our shows its teens to people in their 60s. They connect with these kind of sounds.” Of course it doesn’t hurt that KC and the Sunshine Band had a massive string of hits in their heyday, enough to keep audiences entertained for the full 90-minute show that The Sunshine Experience puts on. In fact, the current show they do is an exact replica of the setlist from KC’s current tour, so anyone who missed seeing the real thing the last time they were here can feel free to catch a near note-for-note recreation of it on Thursday, which is in some ways a milestone for The Sunshine Experience, as they have not played Atlantic City before. “I’m really looking forward to coming here. We are going to rock it — we’ll have a great time.”

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Atlantic City’s seven surviving casinos eke out November gains
Posted in: In The News on Thursday, December 15, 2016

Atlantic City casinos eked out a minor gaming revenue bump in November, provided you pretend that the Trump Taj Mahal never existed. Figures released Wednesday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show brick-and-mortar gaming revenue at Atlantic City’s seven surviving casinos totaled $180.1m in November, down 5.8% from November 2015, although up 1% if you discount contributions from the Taj Mahal, which closed for good in October.

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Atlantic City casino revenues up slightly in 2016
Posted in: In The News on Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The state's online gaming industry continues to enjoy big upticks compared to a year earlier - the 29.9 percent increase in Nov. 2016 vs. Nov. 2015 being typical these days. Online poker was up 6.4 percent to $2.1 million last month, which is almost exactly what it has made in most of the recent 18 months. Online slots and other games were up $4M to $17.2M as those games grew even further beyond poker numbers. The city's casino industry was down 3.5 percent in November compared to Nov. 2015, with brick-and-mortar numbers down 5.8 percent but being soothed by online gaming upticks. "Through November, total gaming revenue is up 1 percent compared to last year," noted Casino Control Commission Chairman Dennis Levinson. "And if you take out the Taj Mahal, which closed in October, the operating casinos are up 3 percent for the 11 month period. The positive performance has been fueled all through the year by strong increases in internet gaming win. Every casino with a permit to offer internet gambling reported increased on-line revenue." Total gaming taxes were $15.7 million in November on 8% of taxable casino gross revenue and 15% of Internet gaming gross revenue. In addition, the casino industry incurred $2.7 million in Investment Alternative Tax Obligations, which reflects 1.25% of casino gross revenue and 2.5% of Internet gaming gross revenue. The biggest loser in November was Caesars, down 12.4 percent, with Golden Nugget up 11 percent. The rankings by all 2016 gaming win: Borgata $709.0M Harrah's $328.9M Tropicana $311.4M Caesars $272.3M Golden Nugget $229.7M Bally's $195.2M Resorts $158.9M

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Atlantic County maintains credit strength despite Atlantic City turmoil
Posted in: In The News on Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Atlantic City's continued financial issues, leading to a recent state takeover, shouldn’t have a dramatic impact on Atlantic County, according to a report by Moody's Investors Services. Growth outside of Atlantic City will offset the decline in revenue from Atlantic City, according to the report released Wednesday morning. Since 2007, the city's share of the county tax base is down 21 percent.

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Tropicana to host Beach Bash in January
Posted in: In The News on Thursday, December 08, 2016

During the cold winter months, one casino has decided to celebrate the summer. Tropicana Atlantic City will host a propertywide indoor beach party beginning Jan. 14. The casino’s Beach Bash events will run through Feb. 28 and include live entertainment, contests to win prizes such as free slot play or a timeshare getaway, and specialty cocktails and menu items at the restaurants in the casino’s 200,000-square-foot retail-and-entertainment complex, The Quarter.

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Chris Rock stopping in Atlantic City for first tour in nine years
Posted in: In The News on Wednesday, December 07, 2016

In the wake of a year that brought a tidal of tragedies ranging from the death of David Bowie to beloved gorilla Harambe, comedian Chris Rock will be kicking off the New Year with a much better start. After nine long years, the comedian will launch his first, full-scale, 2017 world tour in February. Atlantic City is currently the only New Jersey stops on Rock’s “Total Blackout tour,” and one of the few on the east coast, according to a list of tour dates on Chris Rock’s website by Wednesday afternoon. Missing from the list are other east coast hubs such as New York City and Philadelphia. Rock is scheduled to appear at the Borgata on June 3. Rock announced the good news in a Facebook live video yesterday in Los Angeles. “Tonight, I am announcing that I, Chris Rock, am going on tour,” said “Grown Ups,” star. “First time in nine years, ok, haven’t done it in a while, been a little busy writing ‘Pootie Tang 3’ and everything. But hey, it’s time.” Rock announced in the video that he would have all new material.

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