Caesars Entertainment is trying to shake things up in Atlantic City as the gaming giant powerhouse has announced it will be putting the finishing touches on a $1 million expansion to its Wild Wild West wing, adding a new poker room, and new nightlife options.

This “undercover” renovation took place at the same time Bally’s spent over $5 million renovating their main casino floor, making several cosmetic and layout changes to create a more inviting and better used floor plan to the property according to the Press of Atlantic City.

The new WSOP Poker Room at Bally’s

The highlight of the Wild Wild West expansion is the 42-table World Series of Poker branded poker room with revamped tableside food and beverage options, and a slew of amenities including wifi and phone-charging stations.

The new poker room will replace the existing poker room at Bally’s according to Kevin Ortzman, the Senior Vice President and General Manager for Bally’s via Jennifer Bogdan of the Press of Atlantic City.

Ortzman also told Bogdan that the old poker room will now be used for tournament space, with Bally’s capable of fitting up to 80-tables in the room.

Ortzman also stated that the casino will host the World Series of Poker Circuit Series season ending Tournament of Champions (which was confirmed by WSOP.com), and potentially other WSOP Circuit events.

Currently the only WSOP Circuit Series stop in Atlantic City is the tour’s stop at Harrah’s, but with online gambling now legalized in New Jersey I wouldn’t be surprised to see three or even four WSOP Circuit Series stops in the city.

Other facets of the expansion

In addition to the poker room, Bally’s Wild Wild West Casino will also add “a new entertainment stage for bands and live-performances, referred to as the Party Pit, and the reopening of the casino’s Pacific Avenue entrance,” according to a press release issued by Caesars.

Kevin Ortzman was also quoted in the same press release, stating, “The Wild Wild West provides locals and visitors alike with a truly unique experience of branded entertainment, gaming, and unparalleled excitement, so with these latest additions the property can now lay claim to a top-notch poker room and a game-changing party pit.” Adding, “We believe this development will forever evolve the face of poker in Atlantic City and expand our ability to provide guests with the highest quality of gaming and live entertainment opportunities available.”

Live poker and online poker acting in unison

With a new poker room to tout I wouldn’t be surprised to see Caesars (specifically Bally’s) ramp up their online poker marketing efforts, using both the live WSOP branded poker room as well as their WSOP.com online poker site to feed off of one another.

Borgata and their online poker rooms (powered by partypoker), NJ.PartyPoker.com and BorgataPoker.com, have been using this marketing strategy from the outset, and to great effect, with promotions such as New Jersey’s Next Poker Millionaire and online Steps tournaments to the World Poker Tour Championship that will be held at the Borgata this April.

Expect the same from WSOP.com and Caesars moving forward. Expect even more satellites to World Series of poker Circuit events in Atlantic City, and expect cross promotions between WSOP.com and the new poker room at Bally’s. The possibilities are pretty much endless, especially if Caesars implements some type of lucrative exchange rate at Bally’s for their online comp points.

Bally’s poker room will face stiff competition

Even with the new poker room, Caesars still has a lot of competition in Atlantic City when it comes to poker. The Borgata is still the hub of the East Coast poker world, and with multiple World Poker events taking place at the Borgata each year they will be tough to dethrone.

There is also the more nostalgic-driven, but still thriving poker room at the Trump Taj Mahal to contend with, and who knows what will happen with the enigmatic Revel Casino. The Revel closed its small poker room last year, but the almost brand new facility could be a major player in the market under the right leadership.

Steve Ruddock

About

Steve is a seasoned veteran of the online gambling industry, having written about it from every possible angle in his many years as a freelance gaming writer. Based in Massachusetts, Steve especially focuses on regulatory and legislative news coverage pertaining to the U.S. market.