Casino File: New hotel ups game at Resorts World NY; Bally’s AC serves top lobster roll; Geno's back at Rivers
The new Hyatt Regency JFK hotel changes the landscape at Resorts World New York.Resorts World New York

Casino File: New hotel ups game at Resorts World NY; Bally’s AC serves top lobster roll; Geno's back at Rivers

The 10-year-old slots parlor near JFK airport is betting big--$400 million big—on the high-end hostelry.

For the past decade, Resorts World New York, the electronic-game-only gambling den that sits adjacent to JFK International Airport in the borough of Queens, has offered its guests 6,500 units with which they could court Lady Luck, as well as an array of dining options from fast-food to ultra-pricey, headliner entertainment and live horse racing at Aqueduct Racetrack, which is part of the RWNY complex. But it could never offer them a place to lay their weary heads.

That changed a couple of weeks ago when the 400-room Hyatt Regency JFK Airport at Resorts World New York opened its doors.

Because of its proximity to JFK, the striking, ultra-modern inn sheathed in blue glass is just eight stories tall. But in terms of luxury, it certainly (successfully) aims a lot higher: Many of the rooms and suites boast floor-to-ceiling windows (west-facing units provide panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline). All rooms are equipped with a 60-inch HD television (the largest we’ve seen to date in a casino hotel) and a wireless phone-charging station. Especially notable are the large bottles of Pharmacopia-brand shampoo, conditioner and body wash found in the showers of standard rooms (as opposed to the often-generic mini-bottles that are the industry standard).

The building's amenities include a fitness center, the private Regency Club (a non-casino version of a high-rollers’ lounge open at no charge to those who rent suites; other guests can gain admittance by paying a $60-for-two entry fee) and a 24-hour lobby snack shop called The Market.

The Regency’s culinary linchpin is the outpost of Sugar Factory, the whimsical, casual-dining chain (there’s a location inside Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City) that specializes in over-the-top milkshakes and equally outlandish cocktails served in huge goblets and often presented with dry-ice smoke billowing from them like some mad scientist’s concoction in a 1930s horror film. Also offered is an array of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees, including a $150 (for two) lobster mac-and-cheese dish that includes two tails.

For those who’ve never visited it, the RWNY casino is a sprawling, bi-level gambling palace that exclusively offers slot machines and other electronic games (including digital versions of baccarat and roulette). Interestingly, because governmental oversight of electronic gaming devices is the purview of the Lottery Division of the New York State Gaming Commission, the legal minimum age at the gambling den is 18 (as it is for the purchase of lottery tickets).

Is Dog’s lobster the G.O.A.T.?

My name is Chuck. I am a lobsterholic. Which, it seems to me, makes me something of an expert on those yummy crustaceans.

So it is with a high degree of confidence that I report my delight in, and amazement by, the lobster rolls served at the recently opened Water Dog at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino.

Yes, the $31 price tag is a tad extravagant for what is ultimately a sandwich. But then again, saying the Dog’s lobster roll is just a sandwich is like saying Meryl Streep is just an actor.

For starters, the dish contains the succulent, butter-poached meat of a whole lobster; I don’t ever recall having another one that was so jam-packed that I could barely consume it all. And that’s it. There is no filler, no mound of lettuce or celery chunks and no drowning out the natural flavor of the lobster with gobs of mayonnaise. And it rests on a perfectly toasted, butter-drenched brioche roll that sits on the outskirts of decadence.

I may be wrong. Somewhere, there may be an even better lobster roll than that served by Water Dog. But I haven’t yet found it—certainly not in Atlantic City.

Of course, it may be that lobster isn’t your thing, whether for religious or medical reasons, or that you just don’t like it. If so, rest assured there is plenty more to enjoy: Water Dog serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Mo’ ‘Motown’

And before we leave Bally’s, be advised Motown Forever, the high-energy salute to the legendary Motown record label, has had its run extended.

Originally scheduled to end Sept. 4, the show, which pays tribute to such artists as The Supremes, The Temptations and Smokey Robinson, can now be seen Saturdays through Oct. 2. For tickets, click here.

Geno’s ups the steaks at Rivers

The long-awaited return of Geno’s to Rivers Casino Philadelphia has finally occurred.

The brand, which is pretty much synonymous with “Philly cheesesteak,” shut down its Rivers outlet when the City of Philadelphia ordered the casino closed due to the initial COVID-19 outbreak of 2020. It came back to life two days ago.

The cheesesteakery is open 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

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