Gamble Here: Atlantic City Gambling

Pop culture

Before it was even legal, Atlantic City was the place to be for underground gambling. During Prohibition, the city was busy hosting secret poker games and smuggling alcohol, already building a reputation for itself as a hot spot for entertainment.

When Nevada legalized gambling in 1931, it was the first and only state to have done so and remained that way for over 40 years. In 1974, the people of New Jersey voted against the statewide legalization of gambling. Two years later in 1976, a new referendum was approved, allowing casinos to be operated from within Atlantic City.

In 1978, Resorts Atlantic City became the first New Jersey casino to open. It was the first legal casino outside of Nevada and remains Atlantic City’s oldest operating casino. By the end of the 80s, it was one of the most popular tourist spots in the United States.

However, good things don’t always last. The city’s tourism rates started to decline as other states opened resort casinos and gambling legally was no longer exclusive to Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

In 2016, legislators proposed the New Jersey Casino Expansion Amendment to expand gambling outside Atlantic City, but voters rejected the ballot question. Credit-rating agency Fitch stated that if this amendment was successful, several casinos would go bankrupt, resulting in massive losses for the city and the state.

Is Atlantic City Dying?

Since opening, 10 casinos have closed for various reasons. Four casinos closed in 2014 alone, following the legalization of gambling in several neighboring states and the aftermath of the Great Recession.

However, does this mean that Atlantic City is dying? Absolutely not!

While AC may not be as popular as its west-coast competitor, eight out of nine casinos actually increased their gross operating profits in the first quarter of 2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic hitting other industries pretty hard. The only casino to report losses was Bally’s, reporting a loss of $6.5 million, which is still $1.5 million less than the losses they reported in 2020. Top casino Borgata is up 28% from the first quarter of 2020, and Tropicana is up 128% from the same period.

How Does Vegas Survive on the Same Business Model?

Las Vegas is more popular overall because of the wider variety of casinos, hotel accommodations, and other attractions. Looking at the number of casinos alone, Vegas has over 100 and Atlantic City currently only has nine. Vegas offers exclusive entertainment and accommodations options like huge, luxurious hotels and residency artists like Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Journey, and ZZ Top, to name just a few.

Vegas and AC offer two totally different entertainment experiences, so which one is “better” depends on what you want to experience.

Of the nine casinos AC has to offer, here are the ones that really stick out as must-visit spots if you ever find yourself on the east coast with cash burning a hole in your pocket.

Resorts Casino Hotel

Resorts hotel and casino sign

Resorts Casino Hotel.

The oldest casino in Atlantic City is definitely one to check out. They offer over 1,500 slot machines across their 80,000 square feet of casino space, along with table games. The casino is open 24/7, so you can swing by any time.

If sports betting is your thing, check out the DraftKings Sports Bar and Sportsbook, where you can watch sports, have dinner and drinks, and place bets all in one place. Resorts has over 10 other restaurants on-site and eight bars, including Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville — where it’s always 5’clock.

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

giant guitar sign outside Hard Rock CasinoThe Hard Rock was known as the Trump Taj Mahal until its closure in 2016. It reportedly cost Donald Trump over $1 billion to purchase and finish constructing the building, and it was sold to the Seminole Tribe of Florida for just over $50 million.

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino opened in 2017 and has been very successful. The casino is open 24 hours a day and currently offers a wide variety of games, including 2,115 slot machines, 150 table games, a sportsbook, and specialty games like Pai Gow and popular Chinese games. They also offer regular promotions for new and returning players.

Tropicana Casino and Resort

Tropicana has been voted the Luckiest Atlantic City Casino by Casino Player magazine for multiple years in a row. Their 24/7 casino has over 2,600 slot machines, poker and table games, and 10+ restaurants within the casino if gambling tends to work up your appetite.

Other on-site amenities include 20 bars and nightclubs, 30+ shops within the resort, and spas where you can relax after a long day of winning big.

Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa

Borgata casino building

Borgata is by far the most popular casino in AC, and one of the most beautiful casinos in the world. Open 24/7, they have table games, poker rooms, and hundreds of slot machines to keep you entertained.

They also run monthly promotions where guests can win cash rewards or bonus dollars to be used within the casino, just like your favorite online casinos do!

Borgata is home to the BetMGM Sportsbook and Bar along with 25+ other restaurants and bars, multiple gyms, pools, spas, and on-site shopping.

No plans to get away anytime soon? Luckily, you can play online casino games from the comfort of your own home — or anywhere you are.

Back To Top
Back To Top