The History of Casino Gaming in Atlantic City
Absecon Island is a barrier island in Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States. It is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay. The island is home to the city of Atlantic City, as well as a number of other towns and villages.
The history of Absecon Island dates back to the early days of European settlement in North America. The first Europeans to settle on the island were the Dutch, who established a trading post on the island in the 17th century. The English later took control of the island, and it became part of the colony of New Jersey.
In the 18th century, Absecon Island became a popular destination for summer vacationers. The island's beaches and mild climate made it an ideal place to relax and escape the heat of the city. In the 19th century, the island became a major center of the oyster industry. Oysters were shipped from Absecon Island to markets all over the United States.
In the 20th century, Absecon Island experienced a number of changes. The city of Atlantic City was founded on the island in 1854. Atlantic City quickly became a major resort destination, and the island's population grew rapidly. In addition, the island's beaches were developed for tourism, and a number of casinos were built on the island.
The History of Casino Gaming in Atlantic City
Since the commencement of casino gambling in 1978, Atlantic City, New Jersey, has emerged as a leading site for gamblers. From its founding in the 19th century, Atlantic City evolved as one of the nation's most popular seaside resorts, aided by its access to New York City just to the north and Philadelphia to the west. The Atlantic Ocean provides another way of relaxing when not on the gaming flow. How did it become such a mecca for gaming, though? Take a closer look at the history of gaming in the city and what you’ll find there today as well.
Legalizing of Gaming
Following the end of World War II and continuing into the 1950s and 1960s, Atlantic City went into a period of decline as its older hotels and other attractions deteriorated and other resorts became more popular with the growth of affordable air travel providing easier access.
The initial move to legalize the casino gaming industry throughout New Jersey through a voter referendum to amend the state constitution narrowly failed in 1974. In 1976, however, a subsequent referendum which restricted casinos solely to Atlantic City was approved. After legislation was enacted establishing the system for licensing and regulating proposed casino-hotels, the Resorts International Casino Hotel (subsequently re-named as the Resorts Casino Hotel) opened in 1978 as the first casino-hotel licensed in Atlantic City. In its first years of operation Resorts Atlantic City maintained a near-monopoly, but its success soon brought competition, both within the city and in nearby states which authorized casino gambling.
The Growth of Casinos in New Jersey
The rapid growth of casino-hotels and related investment slowed as competition took hold, and concerns also arose that Atlantic City had failed to diversify beyond gambling in comparison to other competitors like Las Vegas, which saw a surge in the development of new themed casino-hotels and other attractions. Atlantic City's decline was marked by the closing or bankruptcy of some of its major casino-hotels, forcing the surviving properties to invest heavily in modernizing and updating to attract a new group of visitors to remain competitive.
Legalization of Online Gaming in New Jersey
In 2013, New Jersey legalized online gaming throughout the state tied to accounts opened by gamblers through casinos. Governor Chris Christie saw the bill as a “responsible yet exciting option that will make Atlantic City more competitive while also bringing financial benefits” to the state as a whole. This move gave New Jersey gamers another way to play their casino favorites in Atlantic City and throughout the state. It even brought with it far more options and variations like Knockout Poker, which comes in a wide range of formats, and exclusive slots not found in land-based casinos. Additionally, with this greater selection came more ways to play: computers, smartphones, tablets, and apps. Suddenly, casino gaming wasn’t limited to Atlantic City—anyone in the state could play whenever and wherever they wanted. And in 2018, the state also authorized gambling on sports, which followed a decision by the United States Supreme Court in a lawsuit brought by New Jersey which held that a 1992 federal law effectively banning commercial sports betting in most states, was unconstitutional.
Casinos in Atlantic City Today
For those who want to explore the establishments present in Atlantic City today, casino-hotels in operation are Bally’s, Borgata, Caesars, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock, Harrah's, Ocean Casino Resort, Resorts, and Tropicana. In addition to their on-site games, the casinos also offer their traditional table games and sports betting options on the Internet.
Apart from its casinos, there are shows, fantastic shopping venues, luxurious spas and resorts, and various other amenities located nearby and throughout Atlantic City, with a wide range of new opportunities to roll the dice.