AC Casino Gets a Little More PC

Atlantic City casinos are doing whatever they can to draw in customers. It would probably be smart if they avoided offending anyone in the process.

Most of the news for Atlantic City (aside from the successful restaurant week) has been grim. New billboards, splashy events, deep customer discounts—they’ve all been thrown into the marketing mix.

In December, the Tropicana held Atlantic City’s first Running of the Santas. This isn’t exactly your town’s 5K. Participants dress in their best holiday garb, enjoy cheap drink specials, then run en masse to another bar.

It’s originally a Philadelphia event, but the Tropicana added an extra twist: all those Santas and elves and grinches chased Hooters girls. (No, no one won a prize for “catching” one. These weren’t exactly sprinters.)

Smarmy? Yes. But it did bring people into the casinos—and, for this innocent bystander, was entertaining to watch.

This month, the Trop decided to go for the gold twice and announced that they’d be hosting the Running of the Micks.

Whoops.

I’m not Irish, but I am Italian and bristle when I hear terms like “dago” and “wop” thrown around. My grandfather, who was a construction superintendent in Philadelphia, put the words “Top Wop” on his hard hat to head off any slurs before they started.

When they recognized that not everyone was in love with their concept, the Tropicana and the event organizers re-named the party the Running of the Leprechauns.  Whatever it’s called, it will be held March 7 at the Trop and even has its own website: www.runningoftheleprechauns.com.

It should be an interesting event with all those green-garbed partiers again chasing Hooters girls, but I’m looking forward to Bag Day, an annual tradition at Atlantic City’s Irish Pub on the day after St. Patrick’s Day.

Why the bags? The theory goes that St. Patrick’s Day is such a late-night celebration that you need to wear a bag over your head the next day to hide your face.

No one said that St. Patrick’s Day is a healthy holiday, but at least in Atlantic City it’s getting to be a little more PC.

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