Atlantic City is famous throughout the world for its casinos and beaches. It is often mentioned in the same breath as Las Vegas, or even Reno, but what you may not have known is that is it only a fraction of the size of those two cities. Vegas has a population of over 640,000 and stretches across over 140 square miles of land and water. Atlantic City has a humble population of around 40,000 in a mere 17 square miles – so how are the two remotely comparable?
Atlantic City is located in New Jersey, which makes it a prime location for gamblers and tourists on the Western Coast. Gambling may have been legalised some 40 years after it was in Nevada (New Jersey legalised gambling in 1976), but the industry has been thriving. A lot of the huge boom in the gambling sector is thanks to the big-name boxing bouts that were brought to Atlantic City. Mike Tyson had most of his fights here and it helped Atlantic City attract international attention.
With that in mind, we will now look at the 9 best casinos that can be found in Atlantic City.
1. Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa
Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa is the top-grossing casino and the largest hotel in Atlantic City. The complex was built in 2003 and is owned by Vici Properties, and operated by MGM Resorts International. It has over 28,00 rooms and over 160,000 square feet of gaming space. It is home to the Borgata Comedy Club and numerous restaurants. These include the American Grille, Old Homestead Steakhouse and the Angeline by Michael Symon.
The casino is vast and has around 4,000 slot machines, 180 table games and 50 poker tables. The slots range from the penny-slots up to machines that cost $500 per spin, providing for players of all budgets. There is also an abundance of table games, including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Baccarat, Let it Ride, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker, Texas Hold'Em, Caribbean Stud Poker, and many more. The poker at Borgata is extremely high-octane, with events that can last for days and cost hundreds of dollars to enter.
2. Tropicana Casino and Resort
Tropicana Casino and Resort, also called The Trop, has a prime location right on the beach in Atlantic City. It is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and run by Caesars Entertainment. With a hotel complex of under 2,400 rooms and a dazzling shopping and entertainment complex, it is in direct competition with the Borgata. Tropicana was opened in 1981 and has a wide variety of features including 30 restaurants, 30 shops, 20 bars and lounges, its own signature Showroom, an IMAX theatre and several spas.
Tropicana's casino is packed with all sorts of games and tables. There are over 2,400 slots and 130 table games that are spread across 125,000 square feet of gaming space. In addition to the classic table games such as Roulette, Blackjack, Craps and Baccarat, gamers can try out the Pulse Arena. This is a massive area that is full of electronic table games and interconnected live dealer games. Another marvellous place to play is the Jade Palace. Here, players can try out a variety of Asian table games in a unique and tasteful atmosphere.
3. Ocean Casino Resort
Ocean Casino Resort is located up north on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and is instantly recognisable for its large glazed hotel tower. It is owned by AC Ocean Walk and has more than 1,300 hotel rooms. It was originally known as Revel Casino and Hotel and was opened in 2012. The casino and hotel were closed in 2014 after declaring bankruptcy, but after the acquisition, the hotel reopened in 2014. It took until 2018 for the casino to reopen, and finally, the establishment was rebranded and called the Ocean Casino Resort.
Spread over a gaming space of 130,000 square feet, there are over 2,500 slot machines. Ocean has an extensive selection of table games, including Blackjack, Roulette, Spanish 21, Three Card Poker, Big Six Wheel, and Craps on its 120 tables. There are also venues for the high rollers such as the High Limit Table Games area, The Cove and The Loft. The Cove features 140 slots that are supplied by well-known developers and a dedicated cocktail service. The Loft is a 2,000-square-foot luxury gaming suite, located on the 44th storey and has remarkable views of the Atlantic Ocean.
4. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino was originally called the Trump Taj Mahal, after its then-owner, Donald Trump. The hotel and casino was opened in 1990 and cost nearly $1 billion to construct. At the time of construction, it was the largest casino in the world, but the Trump tenure was not without controversy. The casino put Trump in an enormous amount of debt and in 2014 the Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for bankruptcy. The casino and hotel were bought by Hard Rock International, and since then it has become one of the most popular destinations in Atlantic City for gamers. From guitar-shaped LED lighting installations to music concerts and rock memorabilia, the Hard Rock lives up to its brand and is highly enthralling.
The Hard Rock has 167,000 square feet of casino floor space and features over 2,300 slots and 120 table games. The casino has a penchant for jackpot games, offering all sorts of progressive jackpot slots or table games. There is also an Asian Gaming Room, in which visitors can try out a number of exotic games. These include Pai Gow, Baccarat, Asian Poker and various Chinese casino games.
5. Harrah's Resort Atlantic City
Harrah's Resort Atlantic City is also owned by Vici Properties and is run by Caesars. It is located in the marina district, just off the Boardwalk and ocean beach. Harrah's was opened in 1980 and was the fifth casino to open after the legalization of gambling in New Jersey. The hotel has more than 2,500 rooms and the complex also has several spas and a large pool. At night, the pool becomes “The Pool After Dark” – and features live DJ music.
Harrah's has 177,000 square feet of gaming space and is packed with all sorts of games. Video poker and slots will always attract players, and Harrah's has over 5,500 machines providing top-quality games. It also features more than 130 table games and a poker room that has 40 tables. The poker room may hold even more interest for poker fans, as it hosts the annual World Series of Poker event.
6. Bally's Atlantic City Hotel and Resort
Bally's Atlantic City is an iconic casino hotel that is located on the Boardwalk. It is owned and operated by Bally's Corporation, a gambling and betting company from Providence. For those who play Monopoly, it is famous for being the address of “Park Place and the Boardwalk” – two locations on the original board game. Bally's is among the largest hotels in the area, with more than 1,200 rooms. The current building, which was opened in 1979, sits on the site of two historic hotels: the Marlborough Blenheim Hotel and the Dennis Hotel.
At over 83,000 square feet, Bally's is amongst the larger casinos in the country, and it serves slots, table games, and sports betting terminals. There are 1,300 slot machines and all sorts of table games. Bally's specialises in offering “Carnival Games” – which are variants of popular poker games. These include Mississippi Stud, Heads Up Hold'Em, High Card Flush, and numerous others. It has a partnership with FanDuel sportsbook, which provides sports bets at Bally's.
7. Caesars Atlantic City
Like the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Caesars Atlantic City has a Hellenistic style of architecture and ancient Greek and Roman themes. The resort is owned by Vici Properties and is run by Caesars Entertainment. It was first opened in 1966, as Howard Johnson's Regency Motor Hotel. In 1977, the hotel was purchased by Caesars and was expanded to include a casino in 1979. In addition to the casino and spas, the resort also has a 1,100-seat showroom. The venue has hosted musical acts such as Diana Ross, Liza Minelli, Lionel Richie and Celine Dion. It has also hosted many professional boxing events. Diners who want a unique experience can also find the Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill and the infamous Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen in Caesars Palace.
Glitz and glamour aside, the main attraction for players is the massive casino. Over 145,000 square feet, there are more than 3,000 slot machines and 135 table games. The casino floor space is spread across several areas. There is a main space, where all the slots can be found. There are also dedicated poker and table games areas, and the Palace East, which is an Asian gaming area.
8. Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Like the Hard Rock resort, Golden Nugget was also part of the Trump Entertainment Resorts. It was opened in 1985 as Trump's Castle and later was renamed Trump Marina. In 2011 the property exchanged hands and was rebranded Golden Nugget Atlantic City. The complex has a 700-room hotel, seven nightclubs, several pools and spas and numerous sports facilities. It also has a 2000-seat ballroom and a 462-seat theatre.
Golden Nugget is rife with slots, and across 74,000 square feet of gaming space, there are over 1,500 machines. These include everything from classic fruit machines to video slots with brilliant animations and more complex gameplay. The table games are open 24/7 and there are multi-level progressive jackpots on games such as Let it Ride, Ultimate Texas Hold'em, Pai Gow Poker, and more. There is also a 9-table poker room that has all sorts of unique promotions and tournaments, in addition to tableside food service.
9. Resorts Casino Hotel
This is a classic casino that has a Roaring Twenties theme and is by far the oldest establishment on this list. It was the first casino hotel to open in Atlantic City, and the first to open anywhere outside Nevada. Though the casino hotel was opened in 1978, the building dates back way further. It was originally called the Chalfonte House and was built in 1868. In 1900, a hotel was constructed on the site to accompany the house and it opened in 1904. Since then the property has exchanged hands numerous times and has undergone expansion and remodelling, but the main structure is still standing – which is phenomenal.
What you can expect in the casino is 100,000 square feet of gaming space and over 1,300 slot machines. There are also plenty of table games, electronic table games, video poker machines and Asian games. Resorts also provides sports betting, which can be done at its sports book. The bets are provided by DraftKings, one of the most popular bookmakers in the country.