The tradition continued.
For the third consecutive year, I traveled the Garden State Parkway to head to Atlantic City to watch the Super Bowl; in this case, Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals.
The past two years I had shared the experience with fellow bettors at Wild West City Casino located at Caesars with our good friend and organizer, Sean Higgs of Picks and Parlays, who went the whole nine yards in getting one of the five fan caves inside the sportsbook to have a more intimate atmosphere of food, beverage, bet banter and a lot of yelling and screaming before, during and after the game.
Higgs recently moved to Texas, but I decided to uphold the craziness he started, excluding the fan cave and hang out, with a dear friend of mine from Cabrini College (now University) in Radnor, Pa., Matt Hodlofski.
Atlantic City is packed with big-time casinos like Caesars. New Jersey is also one of the few states with real money online casinos.
Upon arrival, check in at Caesars’ Forum Tower (comfortable room with a nice work area) and after we each grabbed a 32-ounce can of Miller Lite (which can be purchased in the gift shop – nice touch Caesars), we headed down to the sportsbook.
By the way, the property is currently undergoing renovations of $400 million that Caesars has pledged to three of its Atlantic City casinos and you can tell the vibe is different on the property as it embarks on what Caesars will become in the future.
If you never have been there, Caesars Sportsbook at Wild Wild West is the largest sportsbook in Atlantic City, with at least 15,228 square feet of sports betting space.
The space is huge. It features 102 seats and 30 VIP seats. It also has seating for 28 at the bar rail – which also offers video poker slots – and a self-service beer wall.
For the Super Bowl, you had to make a reservation for all the seats, including high-top tables that surrounded the huge LED TV displays. All the seats and tables were filled, which was a good sign for the sportsbook and the property, but a great sign that the COVID-19 pandemic that we have all been experiencing was slowly dwindling. (Last year, COVID-19 was omnipresent, even with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy easing some restrictions before Super Bowl LV between Tampa Bay and Kansas City.)
People wanted to get out to enjoy the game on Sunday and they did.
So, after a walkaround, my friend signing up for the new Caesars Sportsbook app ($20 to bet on the game, $300 in six $50 free bets) and the grab of swag T-shirts, we decided to make camp at the bar at the other end of the space, with doors leading out to the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk.
The bar was a great spot to watch. You still could walk to sportsbook and patrons were engaging and sharing their prop bets (one woman had non-quarterback to throw a touchdown – BINGO!). Beers were moderately priced (they somehow ran out of Miller Lite way too early) and the best part ... you can order food through the bartender at the AC Snack Shack in the middle of the space and they deliver the food right to you so you do not have to leave your seat.
It was an exciting game in a great atmosphere, where you can bet, drink and eat all in one spot. The state, the casinos, sportsbooks and the city is one step closer to beating this pandemic and returning to even bigger crowds.
Maybe we’ll do it again.
Should we come down for March Madness?