Gave Sands a try last week (mid-week) and thought it was very nice..
It was pretty empty when we got there at about 10:00 AM. We live in North Central NJ so it was just under an hour trip. Didn’t have any problems with the parking Garage, as others have reported, but couldn’t believe the Doors to the Casino were not better marked. Parked on the 3rd floor by what basically looked like service entrances or emergency exits. Went to try the door and it actually was the way in. Note to Sands: Put some kind of signage on these doors to clearly indicate the way to the Casino.
Got inside and had no problem signing up for a card, only one person in line before me and 4 people behind the desk. Took the long way around the casino to check things out before finding and setting into the Smoking section. Observations: I thought the casino was very clean, and the staff were very helpful. I also thought there were to many penny machines, I normally like to play nickels and occasionally quarters. Worst offense, they don’t serve bottled water on the slot floor, only ice water in a plastic cup! I normally drink a lot of water, and like to move from machine to machine, so carrying a cup of water was not at all convenient. Next time I will bring my own bottle (from Harrah’s) and pour the cup of water they give me into it, much easier to carry
Played lots of newer machines that I hadn’t seen in AC, but overall didn’t really win on anything. We went to the food court for lunch/dinner, and thought the way the tables and the food vendors were set up was good for people flow. We earned enough comp money in our few hours of play to pay for our meal. Finding out how much you had in your comp account from any slot was easy and convenient.
Went to play again for a an hour, which tuned into 2 ½ hours, and then hit the road. Be aware that Route 78 East has lanes closed for construction starting at 9:00 PM. 9 would have been fine, but they actually started closing lanes at about 8. Took us about 15 to 20 minutes longer to get home, because of the lane closures and construction.
All in all a nice place to visit and it is an hour closer then AC. Will probably go back, depending upon comp and cash incentives, but it won’t replace AC where we can stay overnight.