Atlantic City is to be found in New Jersey, in the United States. It is famous for its casinos but also has sandy beaches, shopping centres, a famous boardwalk and of course its spectacular view of the Atlantic ocean. Atlantic City does have gambling to thank for its fame, as prior to the legalisation of gambling in New Jersey in 1976, Atlantic City was falling into decay.

With the legalisation of gambling came the opening of their first casino – the Resorts International, in 1978. However Atlantic City did not enjoy an instant boom, and fame remained elusive due to restrictions placed on casinos, the games and payoff amounts. This all made Atlantic City seem tame in comparison to Las Vegas, and due to its close proximity to New York and other large cities, lured in only day visitors, which is not what a casino centre needs to do well! During the eighties, Atlantic City seemed to be in decline yet again as even though gambling was taking place, it wasn’t spreading its benefits to the local hotels, restaurants and shopping centres.

However, Atlantic City invented slot clubs, a unique and pioneering marketing promotion, where casino staff were told to look for familiar faces and ask for their name and addresses. These customers were then invited to parties and given lapel pins to identify them as VIPs. This concept was instrumental in revolutionising Atlantic City – the casinos had needed something just like this to keep their customers coming back, as the casinos are pretty indistinguishable from each other.

Twenty years after legalizing gambling, the city began to realize economic gains and posted record-breaking casino revenues. Atlantic City offers everything you could possibly want to try your luck on – slot machines, poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, keno, race books and speciality tables.

However, with the credit crunch Atlantic City has been suffering like the rest of us. September 2008 was officially the biggest one month decline in the 30 year history of casino gambling in Atlantic City with a 15.1% plunge in revenue. A drop in this amount of revenue would obviously put pressure on the casinos but will also generate a fall in tax income for the state, thereby affecting the provision of public services in the area.

Another factor that could highly impinge on Atlantic City casinos would be a total smoking ban – a ban was enforced last year, and gambling declined so severely that the city council revoked the ban after just 12 days.

While there is major concern for the industry in Atlantic City we will have to wait and see if any of the major casino groups go broke. So if you ever fancied a trip to Atlantic City now is the time to go – you will probably be invited to join lots of slots clubs and you will be helping to keep this hub of entertainment alive! However, if you can’t make it to Atlantic City at the moment but want to indulge in some gambling fun from home, why not go to for news, tips, updates and promotions!

By Gen Wright
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