Atlantic City vs. Las Vegas - A Comparison of Two Renowned Casino Destinations
No one who is interested in casinos can fail to be aware of the race between Atlantic City vs. Las Vegas, two cities known for their bright lights, buzzing casinos, and dreams of big wins. However, while the two destinations may both be known as gambling meccas, each one offers visitors something different.
Here we are going to delve into exactly what each has to offer, take a look at what makes each unique, the type of gamblers they attract, and their individual advantages and disadvantages.
Two Cities with Similar Foundations
The economies of both Atlantic City and Las Vegas are heavily grounded in tourism, particularly the gaming and hospitality industries. Visitors from around the globe flock to their resorts and brick-and-mortar casinos, drawn by similar dreams: The promise of escape from day-to-day life and an environment where gambling dreams can come true.
Las Vegas’ Opulence vs. Atlantic City’s Charm
While sharing a common theme, Atlantic City and Las Vegas offer vastly different atmospheres. Las Vegas, located in Nevada’s Mojave Desert, is a city of spectacle and opulence. Las Vegas casinos and hotels are some of the world's most luxurious. Resorts with spectacular features, like the Bellagio’s famous fountains to the gondola-filled canals of the Venetian. Even the city’s skyline is a sight worth seeing, complete with replicas of some of the world’s most famous landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Sphinx.
On the other hand, Atlantic City, located on the coast of New Jersey, provides a more subdued charm. Its historic boardwalk, one of the oldest in the country, has nostalgic appeal, while the city’s maritime past gives it a distinctive character. There is no denying that Atlantic City’s casinos are impressive; however, they tend to be less ostentatious than those in Vegas, in keeping with the city’s relaxed beachfront atmosphere.
Las Vegas and Atlantic City Gamblers – High Rollers vs. Casual Players
With such different atmospheres, it is no surprise that they tend to attract different types of gamblers. Las Vegas, with its almost over-the-top extravagance, draws in high rollers and those who are looking for the biggest thrills. These visitors are not just there for the slot machines; they also seek the vibrant nightlife, high-stakes tables, and the overall electrifying environment.
Atlantic City, on the other hand, appeals more to the casual gambler. Players who enjoy the casino games but also appreciate the quieter, calmer surroundings. The city’s laid-back atmosphere and affordability make it a favorite for those who prefer a more relaxed gaming experience.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Gambling Meccas
Like all destinations, Atlantic City and Las Vegas have their own advantages and disadvantages. Las Vegas offers a broader spectrum of entertainment options, from world-class concerts to gourmet dining experiences, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a multi-faceted vacation. Its dry desert climate is also appealing to those who are seeking to escape cold winter weather. On the other side, the cost of visiting and staying in Las Vegas can be prohibitively high for some, and the city's constant hustle and bustle can be overwhelming.
Atlantic City provides a more tranquil, affordable alternative. Its seaside location means that visitors can enjoy beautiful beaches and a refreshing sea breeze. Its geographical proximity to major East Coast cities like New York and Philadelphia also makes it more accessible to many. However, Atlantic City has grappled with economic challenges, and while revitalization efforts are underway, some areas of the city still have quite a way to go before they appeal to tourists.
Las Vegas and Atlantic City Casino Comparison
Each city is home to several world-famous casinos. It is beyond the scope of this article to provide details about all of them. However, we will take a brief look at some of the more well-known gambling venues in both cities.
The Famous Casinos of Las Vegas
If you are visiting Las Vegas, then visiting any of the following is well worth the effort:
- The El Cortez Hotel & Casino - A historic gaming venue located in downtown Las Vegas. Opening on Fremont Street in 1941, it is one of the oldest casino-hotel properties in the city, featuring a Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style. The El Cortez Hotel & Casino offers over 1000 slots, table games, and a race and sportsbook, all housed within its main pavilion. In 2013, the structure was officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- The Circa Resort & Casino - Situated in downtown Las Vegas, it stands as the first new hotel-casino built in the Fremont Street area since 1980. The property, previously home to the Las Vegas Club hotel-casino, the Mermaids Casino, and the Glitter Gulch strip club, underwent demolition in 2017, with construction on Circa Resort and Casino beginning in 2019. Despite disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, the first five floors opened in October 2020, featuring a two-story casino with over 1,300 slot machines, as well as 55 table games, a three-story sportsbook, five restaurants, and a six-tiered swimming pool area.
- The Bellagio - A luxury hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Conceived by casino owner Steve Wynn and built on the former site of the Dunes hotel-casino, it opened in 1998 with over 3,000 rooms in a 36-story tower. The Bellagio Hotel and Casino with its 2,300 video slots and 140 table games and cost $1.6 billion to construct. It still is one of the most expensive hotel and casinos in the world. It now houses nearly 4,000 rooms across its towers and is owned by The Blackstone Group.
Top Casino Locations in Atlantic City
Meanwhile, those in Atlantic City will not want to miss out on any of the following:
- Harrah's Resort Atlantic City - An iconic hotel and casino complex located in the Marina District of Atlantic City. Opened in 1980 by Harrah's Entertainment, the property has continuously expanded and evolved. Today Harrah's Resort & Casino is home to a vast range of amenities, including over 1,800 exciting slots and 140 table games, 2 000 rooms, a spa, and a concert venue.
However, it is most famous for its indoor pool enclosed in a large glass dome, which provides a tropical oasis regardless of the season. Of course, there is also a packed casino floor catering to every gambler’s needs.
- Golden Nugget - Originally known as Trump’s Castle, it was renamed Golden Nugget Atlantic City in 2011. The property boasts a huge array of amenities for visitors, including a buzzing casino floor with a diverse range of over 1,455 slot machines and 96 tables games. It houses more than 700 beautifully designed rooms and suites that feature contemporary comforts and spectacular views.
Dining options at the Golden Nugget are plentiful, with several high-quality restaurants and casual eateries catering to a variety of tastes. Famously, the property also hosts a marina for boaters, a feature that is unique among Atlantic City's resorts.
- Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City - Located on the iconic Atlantic City Boardwalk, this vibrant destination opened under the Hard Rock brand in 2018. It is well known for its immersive music-themed environment. The expansive casino floor offers 2,300 slots, 130 gaming tables, and a sportsbook. The hotel offers stylishly decorated rooms and suites, providing luxurious comfort with a rock and roll theme.
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is also home to an impressive collection of music memorabilia. Dining and nightlife options include numerous restaurants, bars, and lounges, while the Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena and Sound Waves venues regularly host major musical and entertainment acts.
Las Vegas vs Atlantic City – Entertainment beyond the Casinos
While both cities are best known for their casinos and nightlife, there is much more to discover in each.
For example, if you are visiting Las Vegas, then you may want to consider some of the following attractions:
- You can try out the Zero Gravity Unique Experience Las Vegas, rather self-explanatory.
- For thrill-seekers, the STRAT SkyJump is a must.
- Get behind the wheel of a supercar with Exotics Racing.
- Take a stroll down memory lane at the Neon Museum/Graveyard.
- Dig This Las Vegas offers a unique adult playground where you can operate construction equipment.
There are many more attractions to discover, and if you are planning a trip to Vegas, then it is worth doing careful research before your visit to ensure that you do not miss out.
Atlantic City is no different in that it offers a great deal beyond its casinos. However, the attractions there tend to be of a different nature. For example, you may wish to:
- Set sail on a Sunset Tiki Cruise for a relaxing evening.
- Go parasailing off the coast of Atlantic City.
- Take a day trip to Philadelphia and dive into the history of the United States.
- Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
- Climb the Absecon Lighthouse on the Boardwalk for a stunning view of the coastline.
As you can see, the attractions in Atlantic City tend to be based around the coast and the sea. Therefore, if you wish to combine the fun of a beach holiday with the casinos, then it is certainly the better choice.
Two Cities Separated by a Common Industry
As should now be clear, both these cities are fantastic gambling destinations and each has something different to offer. Between the two of them, they cater to every type of gambler and each offers plenty of attractions beyond the casino floors. Regardless of your tastes, both cities deserve careful consideration if you're planning the gambling holiday of a lifetime.