Atlantic City has long served as a mecca for East Coast gambling enthusiasts who can’t make it to Las Vegas. If you’re one of them, you may recall that there used to be 12 casino hotels in the Boardwalk area, back in the heyday of this seaside mini-metropolis. Since 2014, however, five of these institutions have been shuttered—at least for the time being. Read on to learn more about how many casinos in Atlantic City might be up and running in the near future—and which are unlikely to return to action.
Bally’s Atlantic City
Located on a prime lot at the corner of Park Place and Boardwalk, this institution has been around since 1979—around the time that casino gambling became legal in the state of New Jersey. The property is actually comprised of two separate casino buildings, and is one in a trio owned by Caesar’s Entertainment (the other two are Caesars and Harrah’s, both also operational; see their profiles below).
The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
This MGM-owned resort (it was formerly co-owned by MGM and Boyd until the former bought out the latter’s shares) came to the party relatively late, in 2003. Still, if it’s a game of good old-fashioned blackjack you’re after, Borgata is home to the most sought-after poker room on the Atlantic coast.
Caesars Atlantic City
While Caesars has been around since 1979, it’s undergone a series of name changes that could make it difficult to identify if it’s been a while since your last visit. It was originally known as the Boardwalk Regency, but the name “Caesars” was added to the moniker in 1983. Just four years later, the “Boardwalk Regency” part was tossed out altogether, and the property was renamed simply Caesars Atlantic City.
Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Golden Nugget has an interesting provenance: It was built by Hilton Hotels in the early days of New Jersey’s gaming history, but ended up in the hands of Donald Trump when the hotel conglomerate was denied a gambling license. It opened as Trump Castle in the mid-1980s before being re-dubbed Trump’s Marina in 1997. The “Golden Nugget” title didn’t come into play until Landry’s acquired the property in 2011. This is one of the smaller contenders on the list, but its popularity endures.
Harrah’s is a big name in the hospitality industry, but their Atlantic City locale puts the feather in their overlarge cap. It was also the first casino not to be located on the Boardwalk, which makes it somewhat difficult to find on Atlantic City casino maps.
Resorts may not be the biggest casino in the world—or even in the region—but it does have the distinction of being Atlantic City’s first legal gaming establishment, having opened in 1978. With its 1920’s theme (added during a 2011 refurbishment), it’s also a great place to indulge your inner flapper.
While the closure of so many casino hotels in Atlantic City might be daunting to some investors, Tropicana Entertainment actually has plans to expand its footprint—they recently acquired a second 300-room property nearby, in addition to this sizable three-floor gaming facility. Like many others, the resort has undergone a series of name changes, but it’s likely that the current one will stick, as revenues have been fairly steady over the past few years.
Status: Closed/Reopened as a hotel
When this formidable property closed its doors in 2014, Stockton University planned to turn it into a campus. That never happened, but the Showboat has since found new life as a simple hotel.
The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel
The 2014 closure of the Atlantic Club led a development team from Ventnor to draw up plans that re-imagined the property as a water park-family entertainment hub. Sadly, this is another bird that never got off the ground.
This building, acquired by Donald Trump in 1984, is highly visible to motorists entering Atlantic City from the Expressway. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely ever to reopen, due to complications involving a lease that the real estate mogul signed many years ago—which doesn’t expire until 2078.
Status: Closed/Scheduled to Reopen
Another eye-catching property, with its mirrored exterior walls, Revel opened in 2012 but lasted only a couple of years. Now under new ownership, the casino was scheduled to reopen under a different name (TEN Atlantic City), but is struggling to the finish line on account of various laws and regulations.
Trump Taj Mahal
Status: Reopened Under a Different Name
Hard Rock International ended up scoring the rights to this property after a worker’s strike in October 2016. The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City opened in June 2018; keep an eye on the press of Atlantic City for the latest buzz.