There are tons of great attractions on the East Coast of the US, but not many compared to Atlantic City. The New Jersey town has a population of less than 40,000, but its impact on American culture is undeniable. Atlantic City has long been one of the premier gambling destinations on the East Coast. It was also the inspiration behind the US version of Monopoly.
Atlantic City first legalized casino gambling back in 1976 and the first casino, Resorts International, opened in 1978. In the nearly five decades since, AC has grown significantly. Today, there a nine casino resorts located in the small New Jersey town. State law requires the legal age for gambling to be 21 years old.
If you have never been to Atlantic City, it can be hard to know which casino resort to trust. But fear not, we have narrowed the list of AC casinos down to the five best. Keep reading for a closer look at the best casino resorts in Atlantic City.
Hard Rock Hotel Casino Atlantic City
The Taj Mahal in AC originally began construction in 1983. However, after the original owner died in 1986, it was purchased by Donald Trump. Construction would not be completed on the property in 1990. After opening in April of 1990, the Taj Mahal faced uncertainty for its first 18 months of operation. However, after righting the ship in late 1991, Trump’s Taj Mahal enjoyed immense success.
Trump’s Taj Mahal was the highest-grossing casino in AC for over a decade. However, the success would not last. It closed in 2016 and was purchased by Hard Rock International in March 2017. The property reopened as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. Since then, Hard Rock International has worked hard to rebuild the location’s prestige.
On the gaming side, Hard Rock Atlantic City offers better a wide selection of gambling options. The casino floor features nearly 2,200 slot machines and more than 120 table games. Bettors can also bet on sporting events at the Hard Rock Sportsbook located in the casino. Wild Card Rewards members can earn Free Play Rewards, Comp Dollars, and access to exclusive events.
Ocean Casino Resort
One of the newest casino resorts in Atlantic City is the Ocean Casino Resort. The property originally opened in 2012 under the name Revel Casino Hotel Atlantic City. Despite only being open for a decade, the property is under its third set of owners.
Financial problems delayed the original construction started by Revel Entertainment group. The casino resort opened despite the delays in 2012. However, the bad luck continued, and the casino was sold in 2015 to Polo North. Under new ownership, the problems persisted, and it was sold again in 2018 to AC Ocean Walk.
Hotel guests have access to high-class amenities including a spa, salon, and shoe cleaning service. For entertainment, guests can experience live events at the Ovation Hall. The selection of events includes music, comedy, and professional combat sports. There are also five different bars located on the property.
The Ocean Casino Resort also has plenty to offer on the gambling side of things. A massive 135,000 square feet of casino floor offers something for every bettor to enjoy. Players have access to over 1.500 slot machines that offer a variety of stakes. For fans of table games, the Ocean Casino Resort has you covered. Classic casino table games such as blackjack, craps, and roulette are available. They also have a private, 2.000 square-foot high-limit poker room called The Loft.
Caesars Atlantic City
Caesars Atlantic City is one of the longest-standing casinos in AC. It was the second-ever casino opened in Atlantic City. Since opening in 1979, Caesars AC has been one of the biggest attractions in the city. The property was originally the Regency Motor Hotel. However, after Atlantic City legalized casino gambling, the building was purchased by Caesars.
Despite being owned by Caesars, the property did not bear the Caesar’s brand until 1987. In the decades since taking over the property, Caesars has made massive renovations. Part of the construction through the years has included adding the 25-floor Centurion Tower in 1997. The new tower added over 600 guest rooms to the hotel.
The gaming area at Caesars Atlantic City spans 145,000 square feet and is divided into four different areas. Currently, the poker room is closed. But there are plenty of other gaming options. Across the casino floor, guests can play over 3,000 slot machines and 135 table games. You can also bet on sports at the Caesars Sportsbook located on-site.
Tropicana Atlantic City
Another Caesars property, the Tropicana Atlantic City casino resort offers one of the most budget-friendly options in AC. The property was originally opened in 1919 as The Ambassador Hotel. Following the closing of the original hotel in the 70s, it was purchased by Ramada.
After purchasing the Tropicana brand, Ramada renamed the property Tropicana Atlantic City. The name would change again to TropWorld Resort in 1988. However, it would be changed back to simply Tropicana in 1996. The Tropicana brand was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in 2018.
In the casino portion, guests at the Tropicana Atlantic City casino resort have access to more than 2,000 slot machines. There is also a wide selection of table games including roulette, mini-baccarat, and blackjack. They also offer a variety of poker games including Caribbean Stud Poker and Texas Hold’em. The sports betting lounge offers bettors a chance to relax and watch their wagers play out on giant panoramic screens. It has 250 square foot odds boards and 180 seats.
Golden Nugget Atlantic City Hotel, Casino & Marina
We finish our list with another former Trump-owned property. It originally opened in 1985 as Trump’s Castle but was rebranded just a dozen years later as Trump Marina. In 2011, Trump Entertainment Resorts sold the resort to Landry’s, Inc. After renovations, the casino resort was reopened under the Golden Nugget brand.
The Golden Nugget Atlantic City casino resort is one of the smallest properties on our list. However, do not let the size fool you, it is one of the best casino resorts in AC. The 14.5-acre resort has more than 700 guest rooms available.
The sports betting lounge has over 50 televisions and 5 video walls for watching games. Golden Nugget AC also includes plenty of entertainment options available. Live events can be held in the 2,000-seat ballroom or a 462- seat theater. There is also a nightclub called Haven.
The storied history of Atlantic City nearly rivals that of Las Vegas itself. If you are planning a trip to AC, make sure you are getting the best value out of your chosen casino resort. For more on the best casino resorts, check out our other review pages.