Atlantic City's Gay Casino Nightclub ProhibitionJune 28, 2011 8:48 am
For the first time in Atlantic City’s history the east coast gambling resort has now opened its first exclusively gay permanent nightclub in one of its casinos.
Prohibition, as it is called, is located on the 13th floor of the Resorts Casino Hotel and is part of the City’s attempt to boost its tourism industry, in this case by attracting the affluent Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender community (LGBT).
As Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association executive and prominent member of the gay community Gary Hill explains:
“I think it’s going to work. A lot of casinos have done things for the gay and lesbian community, but never to this level. They’d do a weekend or a night or hold a special event. But this is what this community wants and needs.”
Before gambling was legalized in Atlantic City 33 years ago, the resort would receive around 250,000 gay visitors on holiday weekends visiting its numerous gay clubs and bars.
However, the introduction of casinos then escalated land values with developers buying up many of the old hotels which contained gay nightspots.
Now former city councilman John Schultz and his longtime partner Gary Hill have successfully convinced new Resorts Casino Hotel owner Dennis Gomes to open the casinos’ first gay nightclub. As Schultz explains:
“People think gays don’t gamble. That’s not true. They gamble. They drink. They like to travel. And they have that extra income. Why do cruise lines have gay weeks? Because 2,000 to 3,000 gay people who can afford it go on their ships. It’s a new world now.”
It would appear the idea for ‘Prohibition’ proved an instant hit with Resorts owner Dennis Gomes, who is well known in the gaming-industry for his creative approach
“John said to me, ‘You know what would be great at Resorts? A gay nightclub.’ That’s when I realized there were no gay nightclubs in any casino in the U.S. and probably the world…I want to embrace this community because I love them. I really do,” commented Gomes.