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Atlantic City Gambling

Casinos in the New Jersey Resort Town

Atlantic City GamblingAtlantic City has been a resort city since the middle of the 19th century. Atlantic City's history as a casino town is still less than four decades old, though, but New Jersey can still boast to have the East Coast Las Vegas. Here is a history of how gambling came to Atlantic City.

The History of Atlantic City Gambling

Atlantic City is the top gamblers destination in the Eastern United States. Atlantic City gambling has had its ups and downs over the past three and a half decades, but the people of New Jersey are determined to maintain their city as one of the premier resort cities in North America.

Atlantic City Resort Town

Because of Atlantic City's close proximity to Philadelphia, Atlantic City was a resort town long before it the casinos came to town. The city was incorporated in 1854, which was the same year a road was built between Atlantic City and Philadelphia. Soon, Atlantic City became a beach resort for visitors from Philadelphia. In 1870, the first Atlantic City boardwalk was built.

Atlantic City and Monopoly

In the early 20th century, developers began to build at an increased place. The Boardwalk grew in size, especially along Ohio Avenue. By the 1920's, the definitive Monopoly board game began using Atlantic City streets such as Park Place and Pennsylvania Avenue as its classic properties.

Pre-Casino Decline of Atlantic City

Atlantic City was a resort destination in the age of the train. People would leave their homes in the heat of the summer via train, spending several weeks in Atlantic City to enjoy the air-conditioned comforts of Atlantic City hotels.

In the age of the automobile and the jet, east coast tourists began to range out greater distances for their vacations. People who earlier went to Atlantic City would now drive all the way to Miami, or fly to the Bahamas. With the inclusion of air-conditioning in peoples' homes, people no longer cared to spend several weeks a year in Atlantic City. Consequently, the 1960's and early 1970's saw the economy of Atlantic City crash.

To solve this problem, the people of Atlantic City approved casino gambling in 1976. This was meant to make Atlantic City a resort city again, an east coast version of Las Vegas. This largely worked, as crime-infested neighborhoods became valuable real estate for the development of casinos.

Donald Trump and Mike Tyson

The 1980's saw Atlantic City make a real challenge to Las Vegas as a gambling mecca. Vegas was losing tourists, who preferred the newer, cleaner feel of Atlantic City to the crime and mafia influence of Las Vegas. Developers like Donald Trump became famous for building famous structures like Trump Towers and Trump Taj Mahal. Many Mike Tyson heavyweight world champion fights took place in Atlantic City, raising the profile of the city.

Second Fiddle to Las Vegas

Atlantic City never caught Las Vegas, which began a rapid growth phase in the late eighties and early nineties. The spread of legalized gambling and Native American casinos in the northwest U.S. also damaged Atlantic City's unique standing along the Atlantic coast. Still, Atlantic City remains the top resort town on the east coast, with the largest concentration of casinos of any town in the eastern United States.

Atlantic City Casinos

  • Atlantic City Hilton
  • Bally's Atlantic City
  • Claridge Casino
  • Wild Wild West Casino
  • Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
  • Caesars Atlantic City
  • Harrah's Atlantic City Casino
  • Resorts Atlantic City
  • Showboat Atlantic City Casino
  • Tropicana Atlantic City Casino & Resort
  • Trump Marina Hotel Casino
  • Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino
  • Trump Taj Majal Casino Resort

Planned Casinos in Atlantic City

  • MGM Grand Atlantic City
  • Pinnacle Gaming
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Planet Hollywood (nothing concrete/interest shown)

Atlantic City Race Course

Located 14 miles from Atlantic City is the Atlantic City Race Course. The course opened in 1946 and was a major part of the thoroughbred horse racing industry over the next 50 years.

In 2001, the Philadelphia Park Racetrack bought the Atlantic City Race Course, making the ACRC a part of a simulcast of Philadelphia pari-mutuel racing over the next few years. The Atlantic City Race Course held only four racing days per year. In 2006, Greenwood Racing announced it would schedule up to 20 racing days per year. The future of the Atlantic City racetrack is still in some doubt, though, and a website named www.saveacrc.com is active in trying to save the old racetrack.

Other Pari-Mutuel Race Tracks in New Jersey

FreeHold Raceway - Freehold Borough - (harness racing)
Monmouth Park Racetrack - Oceanport - (thoroughbred horse racing)

New Jersey State Lottery

The New Jersey State Lottery was established in a 1969 elected and sold its first ticket in 1970. Since that time, the Lottery has reached a point where it raises around $2.5 billion a year for New Jersey, with nearly $15.6 billion paid to the state's educational system and other public projects.

For many years, the New Jersey Lottery went through its Big Game phase. This eventually turned into the current Mega Millions format, which offers much larger lotto jackpots. Since 2004, online lottery players can play the Cyber Slingo multi-media "scratch off" lotto game.

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