The History of New Jersey’s Casino Market

New Jersey has a rich history when it comes to gambling and casinos. The state’s casino market has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the years, from the early days of illegal gambling to the glory days of Atlantic City, and from the rise of online gambling to the challenges faced in recent years. This article will explore the history of New Jersey’s casino market, tracing its development from its inception to the present day.

The Early Days of Gambling in New Jersey

Long before casinos became a staple in New Jersey, the state had a history of gambling. In the 1800s, horse racing was a popular pastime, and the first racetrack, Freehold Raceway, opened in 1853. The state government, however, took a hard stance against gambling, and in 1894, New Jersey passed a strict law prohibiting all forms of gambling.

The Rise of Atlantic City as a Gambling Destination

Despite the strict gambling laws, illegal gambling flourished in the early 1900s, particularly in Atlantic City. With its seaside location and proximity to major East Coast cities like Philadelphia and New York City, Atlantic City became a popular tourist destination and a haven for illegal gambling operations.

In 1976, New Jersey voters approved a referendum to legalize casino gambling, but only in Atlantic City. This decision was an attempt to rejuvenate the struggling city and compete with the growing success of Las Vegas, Nevada. The first legal casino, Resorts International, opened its doors in 1978, sparking a boom in the Atlantic City casino market.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Atlantic City saw a surge of new casinos and resorts, including the Trump Plaza, Caesars Atlantic City, and the Borgata. The city became the East Coast’s premier gambling destination, attracting millions of visitors each year.

The Challenges of the 21st Century

The early 2000s marked the beginning of a difficult period for Atlantic City’s casino market. The city faced increased competition from casinos in neighboring states, especially Pennsylvania, which legalized casino gambling in 2004. This competition led to a decline in revenue, and many of Atlantic City’s casinos struggled to stay afloat.

In 2013, New Jersey took a bold step to help revitalize its casino market by legalizing online gambling. The state became one of the first in the US to offer legal, regulated online casinos, with operators required to partner with existing land-based casinos. The introduction of online gambling helped boost the state’s gambling revenues and provided a lifeline for some struggling Atlantic City casinos.

However, the challenges persisted, and several high-profile casino closures occurred between 2014 and 2016, including Revel, Trump Plaza, and the Atlantic Club. The city’s casino market eventually stabilized, but it was clear that Atlantic City’s heyday as a gambling mecca had passed.


Where to find all casinos in new jersey

Here is a guide to finding casinos in New Jersey:

Atlantic City

Atlantic City, a resort city located in New Jersey, is known for its iconic Boardwalk, beautiful beaches, and of course, its casinos.

Atlantic City casino

With a rich history dating back to the early 20th century, Atlantic City has long been a popular destination for gambling enthusiasts. This review guide will provide an overview of the top casinos in Atlantic City, along with some tips to help make your visit memorable.


Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is one of the top luxury casinos in Atlantic City. With over 3,000 slot machines and 180 table games, it offers a wide variety of gaming options for visitors. The casino also features a 161,000-square-foot gaming floor, a poker room, and a race and sportsbook.

borgata casino


  • Wide variety of games
  • Spacious gaming floor
  • High-end dining options
  • Luxurious spa and accommodations


  • Can be expensive
  • Located farther from the Boardwalk, requiring transportation

Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City

Located in the Marina District, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City is a popular destination for those looking for gaming and entertainment. This casino boasts a 177,000-square-foot gaming floor, with over 2,000 slot machines and more than 120 table games.

Harrah's Resort casino Atlantic City


  • Large gaming floor
  • Good selection of restaurants and entertainment options
  • Indoor pool and spa


  • May be crowded during peak hours
  • Also located farther from the Boardwalk

Tropicana Atlantic City

Tropicana Atlantic City, located on the popular Boardwalk, offers a vibrant atmosphere and an extensive gaming floor. With over 2,400 slot machines and around 130 table games, there’s something for every gaming enthusiast.

Tropicana casino Atlantic City


  • Great location on the Boardwalk
  • Extensive gaming options
  • Diverse dining and nightlife options
  • Shopping and entertainment


  • Can be noisy and crowded during peak hours
  • Some rooms may be dated

Golden Nugget Atlantic City

Golden Nugget Atlantic City, also located in the Marina District, offers a more intimate gaming experience with its 74,252-square-foot gaming floor. It features over 1,500 slot machines and around 80 table games.

Golden Nugget casino Atlantic City


  • Smaller, more intimate gaming floor
  • Marina views and access
  • Renovated rooms


  • Fewer gaming options compared to larger casinos
  • Located farther from the Boardwalk

Caesars Atlantic City

Caesars Atlantic City, located in the heart of the Boardwalk, is a Roman-themed casino known for its iconic architecture and upscale atmosphere. The casino features a 145,000-square-foot gaming floor with over 2,000 slot machines and more than 100 table games.

Caesars Atlantic City Casino


  • Great location on the Boardwalk
  • Roman-themed architecture and design
  • Wide variety of gaming options
  • High-end shopping and dining


  • Can be expensive
  • Rooms may be dated

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, located on the Boardwalk, offers a unique blend of gaming, entertainment, and rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere. The casino boasts a 167,000-square-foot gaming floor, with over 2,100 slot machines and around 120 table games.

Hard Rock Casino


  • Unique rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere
  • Extensive gaming options
  • Live music and entertainment
  • Wide variety of dining options


  • Can be noisy and crowded during peak hours
  • May not appeal to visitors seeking a more traditional casino experience

Tips for Visiting Atlantic City Casinos


  1. Plan ahead: Before visiting Atlantic City, research the casinos you’re interested in, and make a list of the ones you want to visit. This will help you maximize your time and enjoyment.
  1. Set a budget: Determine how much you’re willing to spend on gaming, accommodations, dining, and entertainment before your trip. This will help you avoid overspending and make your visit more enjoyable.
  1. Join a player’s club: Most casinos offer player’s club memberships, which provide rewards and incentives for gaming. Joining a player’s club can result in discounts on accommodations, dining, and other perks.
  1. Explore the Boardwalk: Atlantic City’s iconic Boardwalk is home to a variety of attractions, including shopping, dining, and amusement rides. Take some time to explore the Boardwalk and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.
  1. Know the rules: Familiarize yourself with the rules of the casino games you plan to play. This will make your gaming experience more enjoyable and potentially more successful.
  1. Have fun: Most importantly, remember to have fun and enjoy your time in Atlantic City. The city offers a wide range of entertainment options, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

NJ CAsinos


Meadowlands Racetrack : This racetrack in East Rutherford features a large casino with slot machines, table games, and horse racing.

Resorts Casino Hotel : Located right on the Atlantic City boardwalk, this casino features slot machines, table games, poker, and a high-end spa.

Golden Nugget Atlantic City : Another large casino resort on the Atlantic City boardwalk, Golden Nugget has over 2,000 slot machines, 100+ table games, and a lavish spa.

Bally’s Hotel and Casino : One of the older Atlantic City casinos that recently underwent renovations, Bally’s still offers plenty of gaming and entertainment options.

Showboat Hotel & Casino : Another renovated Atlantic City casino, Showboat has slot machines, table games, and various dining and nightlife options.

Trump Taj Mahal : While its future is uncertain, this giant casino resort is currently still operating on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

So in summary, the vast majority of casinos in New Jersey are located along the Atlantic City boardwalk. Meadowlands Racetrack also offers casino gaming, but Atlantic City remains the destination for casino resorts, poker, shows, and other entertainment.

All online casinos in New Jersey

  • Caesars Casino
  • FanDuel Casino
  • WynnBET Casino
  • Unibet Casino
  • Bet365 Casino
  • DraftKings Casino
  • BetRivers Casino
  • Golden Nugget Casino
  • Party Casino
  • Tropicana Casino
  • Virgin Casino
  • 888 Casino
  • PokerStars Casino
  • BetMGM Casino
  • Hard Rock Casino
  • Ocean Casino
  • betPARX Casino
  • Betway Casino
  • PointsBet Casino
  • Bally Casino
  • Harrah’s Casino
  • Resorts Casino
  • Mohegan Sun
  • Borgata Casino
  • Pala Casino
  • Scores Casino
  • PlayStar Casino
  • Tipico Casino
  • Barstool Casino
  • Stardust Casino

The Future of New Jersey’s Casino Market

While Atlantic City has faced its share of struggles, the introduction of online gambling and sports betting has provided a much-needed boost to the state’s gambling industry. In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting, paving the way for states to legalize it. New Jersey quickly capitalized on this opportunity, becoming one of the first states to offer legal sports betting.

Today, the New Jersey casino market continues to evolve, with a focus on expanding online and mobile gambling options. The state has become a leader in the US online gambling market and serves as a model for other states looking to legalize and regulate online gambling.



In conclusion, the history of New Jersey’s casino market is a story of resilience and adaptation. From the early days of illegal gambling to the rise and fall of Atlantic City and the embrace of online gambling, the state has consistently demonstrated a willingness to change and innovate in the face of challenges. The future of the New Jersey casino market remains uncertain, but one thing is clear: it will continue to adapt and evolve to meet the demands of the ever-changing gambling landscape.



How many casinos are in New Jersey?

In the state of New Jersey, there are a total of 11 casinos that offer over 23,414 slot machines and gaming devices, as well as a combined 1362 table games.

What city in New Jersey has casinos?

Atlantic City: For those seeking a thrilling experience filled with gambling, top-notch entertainment, exquisite dining options, and ample shopping opportunities, Atlantic City is the destination to visit.