AC: The Place to Sightsee


We are lucky to have a University located on the coast line of New Jersey. Students like me have a short walk to Ocean Avenue and can be on the beach in a matter of minutes. Pier Village is the closest “boardwalk atmosphere” to the University, but there are other shore towns nearby that are often visited for their entertainment on the boards, both during the day and night.

Asbury Park, Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant are just a few of the neighboring beach towns that are fi lled with fun activities. I ’m sure there are many other wonderful beaches that students visit, especially during the summer, but there is one other go-to place for the extreme nightlife experience. The world knows it as Atlantic City. I know it as the world’s greatest place to peoplewatch.

I went to Atlantic City last week with a good friend, Kevin, to have a great dinner at Carmine’s Italian Restaurant with his sister. While waiting for our seating, he decided to put five dollars in the nearest slot machine. It was a tropical island slot that looked as if it would be kind enough to let a person win a buck or two.

Kevin pulls the lever and we both watch the patterns spin until each of them stops suddenly on a different icon. I could’ve bet money on that. He pulls it again, this time causing a high-pitched bell to ding as he wins 30 cents. I laughed, 30 cents? H e pulls again and wins two dollars, then four dollars, five dollars, then a few extra cents. He’s up about $10! I instantly thought he would cash out! Instead of pushing the little red button to retrieve his receipt for 10, he pulls the lever, continuously losing every bit of what he just won

Our reservation was now ready, so after one last set of spins, he presses the button to get his receipt, that is worth a dazzling 35 cents. Let’s just say that bringing a gift card for dinner was a smart move.

I was so entertained and fascinated by the mesmerizing effect that machine had on him that I thought I’d make a night out of giving particular attention to the way people approach the gambling floor. Their facial expressions, body language, eye contact; everything became almost amusing to me that it inspired me to write about my night in Atlantic City, the place where you are either guaranteed to win 35 cents or hit the jackpot (and we all know how often that happens). I’ll share one story since it indefinitely describes my night.

We went to the craps table, Kevin’s favorite. Words of wisdom, in my opinion: the game is called craps because the chances you have of winning anything are, well, crap. It’s pure luck, as is everything that relates to gambling. Anyway, he walks up to the table and throws a $50 bill on it; that right there was his downfall. Forget even trying to talk to him once he got his chips; it was game time.

So I stood behind the table to give myself enough distance to get a good glimpse of all the players. A very tall and lanky young man picks up the dice, closes his eyes, crosses his arms as if to stretch them, rolls his neck, opens his eyes and gracefully rolls the dice across the table.

It gets better; the 40-something year old man next to him pumps his fist in celebration and gives the young guy a high five for an awesome roll. The man proceeds to grab his chips and walk away, not forgetting to thank the young guy for winning him $100. Meanwhile, everyone else has lost all of their chips and walks away with gloomy stares and profanity.

The whole concept of winning and losing money is so intense yet highly amusing from a bystander’s point of view. There wasn’t one minute of the night where someone wasn’t highfiving another, shaking his head in disappointment or dishing out more 50 dollar bills.

I understand why gambling is so addicting; the competition heats up and there is always that slightest bit of hope of winning big. So, if you’re like me and don’t gamble, I would recommend watching others do it. You’ll have more fun than they will playing.

By the way, I left AC up 25 cents with the quarter I found on the floor in the casino lobby. I lost no money and treated myself to a Starbucks iced coffee in the morning.

IMAGE TAKEN from casinoins.com