Recently several readers have castigated Atlantic City casinos for their lack of hospitality and customer service. While I thought the criticism a bit overstated, my own experiences have led me to believe they made a valid point. Casinos need to develop new thinking and marketing paradigms if they want to succeed.

Recently, a casino offered me room comps, but quickly withdrew the offer upon discovering I'm not a gambler. As they put it, my "play" wasn't sufficient enough to warrant comps. When a casino sees only table games and slot machines as ways to play in their establishment, they have turned their backs on a huge customer base that knows how to have fun without gambling. Las Vegas casinos jump through hoops to get you into their casinos, knowing you are going to spend money once you get there.

To their credit, some local casinos seem to get it. For example, the Golden Nugget with its H2O pool and variety acts, Harrah's with its Pool After Dark, the Showboat with free concerts in its Party Pit, and the Taj Mahal with its lounge act Almost Angels. They understand there is a big demographic out there looking for an edgier way to have fun than by pulling the lever on a slot machine.

So come on, Atlantic City. Get with it. Don't rate customers who don't gamble as less desirable than those who do.

DAVE GRUBER

Mays Landing

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