The Casino File: ‘Whiskey Week’ at Bally’s Atlantic City; ‘Dancing With the Stars’ at Borgata; Big winners

Frank Sinatra will be teaming with Jack Daniels at Jerry Longo's meatballs & martinis

Chuck Darrow

The Casino File: ‘Whiskey Week’ at Bally’s Atlantic City; ‘Dancing With the Stars’ at Borgata; Big winners

'Whiskey Week' offerings range from sit-down dinners to a free tasting to a gesture of support for U.S. military troops abroad.

If there is a sudden spike in elbow injuries next month in Atlantic City, its source will hardly be a mystery: February 2-6 will see Bally’s Atlantic City stage its first Whiskey Week promotion.

“We always like to keep in tune with trends, and whiskey is definitely one of those trends across the country,” offered Frank Martucci, corporate vice-president of food and beverage for the midtown casino’s Rhode Island-based parent company, Bally’s Corp.

While whiskey-centric events are hardly unfamiliar to the Bally’s chain and Atlantic City gaming halls in general, they tend to be single-day affairs. But, explained Martucci, “We decided to do a week so we can really showcase the wonderful world [of whiskey]—the different types of bourbons and Japanese whiskey, Irish whiskeys . . . just different brands and types.”

In all, the gaming hall is presenting 17 events, only one of which isn’t open to the public. Among the brands participating are Maker’s Mark, Crown Royal, Bulliet, Jack Daniels and (this bourbon fan’s favorite) Woodford Reserve.

While Whiskey Week is likely first and foremost a promotion designed to bolster business during a traditionally slow time of year, Martucci admitted there is another practical purpose to the strategy. “We want to educate our staff as well as our guests,” he said, “and make sure they're aware of all the different types of whiskeys, and that they’re a little bit more educated so they can have, better knowledge when they're serving guests.”

As for individual events, among the highlights are a Feb. 3 four-course tasting dinner at Guy Fieri’s Chophouse ($75/per person) and three Frank Sinatra-themed, four-course tasting dinners spotlighting a variety of Jack Daniels products at Jerry Longo’s meatball’s & martinis (Feb. 4-6, $85 per person). Compared to similar affairs that have been held at other AyCee gaming halls, the fees are quite reasonable.

There are also quiz events dubbed “Highball Game Night” (Feb. 2 and 3 at the Sportsbook Lounge) and “Whiskey & Wisdom Trivia Night” (Feb. 3, Water Dog).

For the truly serious aficionado, Feb. 6 will see the “Whiskey Brunch” at Water Dog—although “brunch” may be a bit of a misnomer as the session begins at 8 a.m.

Things will get a bit serious amid all the revelry (and gluttony) as Crown Royal is sponsoring a “Purple Bag Project” event in the hotel lobby (Feb. 4, 4-6 p.m.). Named for the signature sacks in which Crown Royal whiskey is packaged, the proceedings will offer guests the opportunity to pack the bags with snacks, toiletries and such (provided for them) and to write personal notes to the armed forces members who will receive them.

“We executed one of these in Rhode Island three or four years ago, just to see the [guests’ response],” said Martucci. “It was really impactful. We always thought that doing interactive events are good, but what can we do that is something good for our community? And so, we wanted to bring it back.”

For a complete schedule of events, click here

‘Dancing’ at Borgata

A number of favorite performers from ABC-TV’s hit competition series, Dancing With the Stars, are Foxtrotting into Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa Friday night.

The troupe of terrific terpsichoreans is headed up by special guest star Kaitlyn Bristowe, who appeared on Season 11 of The Bachelorette and Season 19 of The Bachelor. Other cast members who will be going through their paces at the Big B include Brandon Armstrong, Sasha Farber, Emma Slater and Koko Iwasaki.

Show time is 8 p.m. For tickets, click here.

Big payoffs

The new year has begun with a bang for two lucky gamblers:

During the first week of the year, a guest – who wished to stay anonymous – placed a $5 bet on a Mississippi Stud progressive table game and hit for $721,000 at Caesars Atlantic City. The game is part of the All-In Table Games side-bet system featured at Caesars, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Tropicana Atlantic City.

And last weekend, Robert Williams of Philadelphia was playing a Jackpot Party Blackjack table game at Live! Casino Hotel Philadelphia when he hit a royal flush, thus cracking the game’s progressive jackpot for a cool $399,319.

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