Bally’s Atlantic City

The history of Bally’s Atlantic City is an intriguing one. It encompasses wholesale destruction of a once proud monument to the good old days, and alleged mafia activity which in turn led to recriminations and the early departure of a CEO.

In 1977 Reese Palley bought one of the landmarks of the City, the Marlborough Blenheim Hotel, and in an effort to save the giant from mass destruction he successfully applied to the National Register of Historic Buildings, which in turn registered it as a building with significant historical value.

His efforts were in vain, however, as he ran out of money and was forced to sell out to Bally’s. The large corporation showed no mercy and flattened the beautiful old building to make way for the new. They did hold on to a neighbouring property, the Dennis Hotel, which acted as a temporary base from which to conduct the business of legalised gaming.

Bally’s problems had just begun – the authorities were fearful that Atlantic City could fall foul to the wiles of organised crime, as had happened in Las Vegas. They were remarkably pro-active this time round and as part of the licensing process the powers-to-be demanded that Bally’s Chairman and CEO, William O’Donnell step down and relinquish all interests in the company. There were serious allegations regarding a relationship with the Mob.

Bally’s followed the trend in Atlantic City and built a whopping 750 room tower which opened its doors in 1989. Other properties in the area were appropriated by Bally’s and they now boast three different casinos which encompass 80 000 sq ft of action.

Bally’s Wild Wild West Casino

The signature property for Bally’s Atlantic City is, without a doubt, the Wild Wild West Casino. It is one of the few themed casinos in the city and is quite remarkable.

A 20 foot mountain, with a running stream and darkening skies greet you at the entrance, and an animatronics character depicting a gold prospector, desperately swirling his pan, in deep conversation with his trusted donkey, is just one of the many animations which thrill visitors to the casino.

The theme continues into the casino area itself offering games and slots with all sorts of Wild West connotations. Even the restaurants and bars are reminiscent of the long ago days of Cowboys – the Lone Star Snack Bar, the Mountain Bar and the Virginia City Buffet.

The other two casinos are the Claridge Casino and Coyote Kate’s Slot Parlour.