From the early 1930s to the late 1970s, the sole gambling destination in the United States was Las Vegas, Nevada. However, Las Vegas’ Southwestern US location made it difficult for those on the East Coast to get there. Once resort casinos were sanctioned and erected in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the late 1970s, a completely new part of the country was able to enjoy a casino experience otherwise found only in Las Vegas. Atlantic City continues to be one of the United States’ top gambling destinations, hosting over 20 million visitors each year.
Due to Atlantic City being located on the Atlantic Ocean, all of its casinos are resort casinos. A resort casino is much more than a casino alone, because it also boasts a hotel and many other amenities.
What separates one casino from another in Atlantic City is the size of the casino itself, the casino’s location, and the variety of games offered. A majority of the casinos in Atlantic City line the city’s historic boardwalk, though a few of them are set back a few blocks from the water. The Borgata, for example, is located more than a mile inland from the beaches while casino resorts like Revel and the Trump Plaza overlook the Atlantic Ocean.
The size of a resort’s casino is another factor to be taken into consideration because they can vary dramatically from one casino to another. For example, Bally’s has over 225,000 square feet of gaming space; more than double the 91,181 square feet offered by the Trump Plaza.
Atlantic City was one of the 20th century’s most iconic east coast vacation destinations. Because it was already the recipient of millions of visitors each year, Atlantic City was an obvious location for the gambling capital of the East Coast.
Prior to the legalization of gambling in Atlantic City, people in the Northeast and all up and down the east coast were forced to travel across the country to gamble at a real, legal casino. In 1976 however, that all changed as the citizens of New Jersey voted for the legalization of gambling in Atlantic City. In 1978, the first legal casino on the east side of the United States opened its doors, this casino was known as Resorts International.
Shortly thereafter, more casinos began being erected along the boardwalk and in close proximity to the marina. Revel, which opened in 2012, is the latest addition to the list of Atlantic City casinos, bringing the total number to 12.
In Atlantic City, you must be 21 years of age to gamble at casinos
In Atlantic City, you must also be 21 years of age to drink alcohol at casinos
Contrary to Las Vegas, Atlantic City is not smoker-friendly. Smoking is allowed only in marked areas of the casino and restricted in most other areas of the resort.
Most drinks (alcoholic or otherwise) are free, though tipping the waiter or waitress is a common courtesy