5 Facts About Atlantic City Casinos That You Might Not Have Known

5 Facts About Atlantic City Casinos That You Might Not Have Known

Atlantic City is regarded as America’s Playground, but is it still true today after the term was coined many years ago? In a decades-long battle against Las Vegas, the east coast casino capital might have lost the rights to America’s Playground since then.

TheSportsGeek is going over the top Atlantic City casino facts. These are five facts about Atlantic City casinos that you might not have known. Atlantic City might not be on your destination list over Las Vegas, but it is the gambling epicenter of the east.

via@VisitAC

There are only two cities in North America that have multiple casinos within walking distance of one another. The first is, of course, Las Vegas, while Atlantic City is on the shore in New Jersey with several resort-style casinos on their boardwalk.

Not every gambler out east wants to take an hours-long flight out to the desert. Atlantic City is within driving distance of millions of gamblers. A weekend trip to Atlantic City from New York or Philadelphia is very doable without having to fly.

The Beginning of Atlantic City

Atlantic City, New Jersey is an older city than Las Vegas, Nevada by approximately 50 years. The city was founded in 1854. Less than 20 years later, the development of the first boardwalk in the United States began.

The boardwalk on the coast of the Atlantic City was an instant draw to tourists. Many family summer vacations were taken in Atlantic City from 1880 to the 1940s. Plays and theatrical productions were a big draw to Atlantic City at this time.

After tourism dropped off significantly in the 1960s, Atlantic City looked at Las Vegas as a successful example of what they could do to turn tourism around. Gambling was legalized in 1976, and a wave of casino resorts soon followed on the boardwalk.

We are going over the top Atlantic City casino facts that you may not have known before. These facts about Atlantic City casinos will provide you with a quick history lesson and information regarding Monopoly City.

Atlantic City Casino Facts

As a side fact about Atlantic City, the board game Monopoly, is based on actual streets in the city.

This is why Atlantic City is also called Monopoly City. Boardwalk — the most expensive property in Monopoly — is, of course, named after the Atlantic City boardwalk. While this has nothing to do with facts about casinos in Atlantic City, we thought it would be interesting to note.

Resorts Casino Was The First Legal Casino Outside of Nevada

The first legal casino in the United States was opened in Atlantic City. There wasn’t another casino in the US besides Nevada before Atlantic City decided to introduce legalized gambling.

It is crazy to think that before 1978, Nevada was the only state with legalized gambling in the country. Look at how far we have come since then. Utah, Hawaii, and Alaska are the only states that strongly oppose gambling.

via@ResortsCasino

The Resorts Casino opened in 1978 and signaled a new era in Atlantic City. Depending on whom you listen to, this was the beginning of the end for the city. Gambling was supposed to rejuvenate the city, but it appeared to be short-lived.

The casino resort was built directly on the boardwalk to provide easy access to the beach. As other casino developers saw an opportunity and wanted to get in on gambling in Atlantic City, the boardwalk witnessed an explosion of new projects.

Resorts Casino continues to operate to this day. There was a new hotel tower added to the casino in 2004. The resort went through a complete renovation in 2011.

If you are interested in staying at the oldest casino in Atlantic City — and the oldest outside of Nevada — then you have that option at the Resorts Casino.

The Trump Taj Mahal Was The Most Expensive Casino Ever Built

The Trump Taj Mahal opened to much fanfare in 1990. The opening attracted celebrities, including Michael Jackson, with a bright future seemingly in its future.

Dubbed as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, the Trump Taj Mahal was built at a staggering cost. The project cost approximately $1.2 billion. This was a world record for a casino at the time.

via@KeeleyFox29

The Taj Mahal in Atlantic City was also regarded as the largest casino in the world. While the casino was attracting money, the expenses and costs for the resort were mounting.

The casino was the highest-grossing casino in Atlantic City before the Borgata opened in 2003. This does not mean much without a look at the expenses and the state of Atlantic City. The high-end casino resort was doomed to fail from the start.

Hard Rock International purchased the property in 2016 for just $50 million. From $1.2 billion in 1990 to $50 million in 2016. The fall of Atlantic City can be summed up right there.

via@HardRockHCAC

The property officially opened as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City in 2018. The Hard Rock in Atlantic City is currently operational and taking reservations.

There Are Nine Casinos In Atlantic City

Atlantic City could not keep up with Las Vegas due to popularity and geography. There is only so much that can be developed in Atlantic City on the ocean. However, the biggest problem for Atlantic City has been attracting visitors compared to Las Vegas.

via@CasinosNJ

As of 2022, there are nine casinos in Atlantic City. They range from affordable and cheaper options to luxurious casinos that resemble high-end resorts in Las Vegas. Luxurious offerings include the Borgata, Ocean Casino Resort, and Hard Rock.

Atlantic City Casinos

  • Bally’s Atlantic City
  • Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
  • Caesars Atlantic City
  • Golden Nugget Atlantic City
  • Hard Rock Atlantic City
  • Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City
  • Ocean Casino Resort
  • Resorts Atlantic City
  • Tropicana Casino and Resort

Are you looking for the most Vegas experience possible on the east coast? We suggest considering the Borgata, which is now owned by MGM Resorts. Ocean Casino Resort is also a solid pick in Atlantic City.

Atlantic City Casinos Have Sportsbooks

Are you looking for a Las Vegas sportsbook experience? No one is going to match Las Vegas, but the sportsbook experience in Atlantic City is getting better.

New Jersey was one of the first states to legalize sports betting in 2018. Delaware was first, and then New Jersey followed only weeks later. Most sportsbooks in states outside of Las Vegas are simply betting windows or betting terminals.

via@TheOceanAC

However, there are some casinos in Atlantic City that are making a pretty good attempt at providing a good sports betting experience. The Ocean Casino Resort sportsbook should be on the top of your list.

The Ocean Casino sportsbook is the best sportsbook experience in Atlantic City. Alternatively, the new Caesars Sportsbook at Wild Wild West is worth checking out as a sports bettor, as well.

Borgata has a nice sports betting area. This is more of a sports bar experience than a true Vegas sportsbook, though. In any event, if you are a sports bettor going to Atlantic City, there will be sportsbooks ready to accept your action.

Atlantic City Gaming Total Win Record Was In 2006

Atlantic City was booming in the mid-2000s. The casinos raked in a net revenue of just over $5 billion for the first time in 2005. Only a year later, Atlantic City broke the record set the previous year.

The house won $5.2 billion for an Atlantic City record in 2006. Why wasn’t Atlantic City able to build on this momentum to catch up to Las Vegas?

Las Vegas was able to reinvent itself during the recession, while Atlantic City did not offer anything other than gambling. Vegas prioritized entertainment, shows, and dining, while Atlantic City stuck with primarily advertising the gambling industry.

Atlantic City was hit hard and saw gaming revenue drop year after year from 2007 to 2015. The city was able to stabilize and see an increase thereafter until Covid-19 landed in 2020.

The gaming revenue bounced back in a big way in 2021. According to UNLV, Atlantic City saw an increase of 64.89% in total win from 2020, with $4.7 billion in net revenue. It was the first time since 2008 that Atlantic City won more than $4 billion in a year.

What Does The Future Look Like For Atlantic City?

For a resort city located on the Atlantic Ocean, you would think Atlantic City would know what to do to attract tourists. A lack of investment in the infrastructure around the boardwalk has hurt the full potential of this city. Instead of developing the area, crime blossomed and kept money out of Atlantic City.

The casinos did not want to reinvent themselves to attract big entertainment, like Las Vegas, so Atlantic City faded into the rearview mirror. Las Vegas went through a period of massive expansion from around 2012 to 2022.

Atlantic’s City loss was Las Vegas’s gain. What is the future going to look like in Atlantic City? Is there a comeback story in the gambling capital of the east coast?

The fact that Atlantic City has the Borgata, Ocean Casino Resort, and the Hard Rock makes it worth a short flight or drive. All three are world-class casinos, and provide Atlantic City with a taste of Vegas luxury.

via@VisitAC

The bump in gaming profit was incredibly encouraging last year, as well. If the city can clean up the area just off the boardwalk and marina, there will be more interest in investment.

People also need a reason to come for something other than gambling. There is casino gambling in most states, so Atlantic City has to be creative if anything is going to improve significantly. Las Vegas saw the alarm bells over a decade ago and they reacted, while Atlantic City did not.

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About the Author
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Kyle Eve
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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