The city of Atlantic City in the State of New Jersey is home to 40,000 people and about 270,000 in the AC-Hammonton Metropolitan area. The city is located on the Absecon Island and covers an area spanning 11.9 square miles. Atlantic City or AC as it is commonly known boasts many historic firsts; among them the site of the world’s first and longest boardwalk. New Jersey voters approved casino gambling in AC’s boardwalk and Marina districts in 1976. Immediately after the passing of the legislation, Chalfonte Haddon Hall Hotel became the first establishment in the eastern shore to convert into a casino. The casino was later followed by; Caesar Atlantic City and Bally’s Atlantic City in 1979, Harrah’s Atlantic City in 1980, Tropicana in 1981 and Trump Plaza in 1984. Others to follow suit were Showboat in 1987, Trump Taj Mahal in 1990, Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in 2003, Golden Nugget in 2011 and Revel Casino and Hotel in 2012.
Trump Plaza, Revel Casino and Showboat have since shutdown operations in Atlantic City. In total, Atlantic City has 8 casinos, which all together provide about 1-million square feet of gaming space. Statistics indicate that more than 26-million people visit the city every year, making AC the most popular resort town to the north of Florida’s Miami Dade. In terms of revenues, Atlantic City comes second after Las Vegas; with revenues in the region of $3 billion accruing annually. Gambling is also a big source of revenue for the state of New Jersey; the gaming industry generates more than $1 billion annually in taxes and fees to the state and local government coffers. The casinos in the Garden State also support over 70,000 jobs and generate another $1 billion in nongaming revenues. The central location of the city between Philadelphia, Washington DC and New York has greatly contributed to make AC the casino mecca of the eastern-shore.
The city’s largest airport is the Atlantic City International Airport located 9-miles west of the city. Travelers can also visit the town via Philadelphia International Airport, which is about 60-miles from Atlantic City. This airport is much bigger and offers many inter-connecting flights to the US and the rest of the world. The city can also be reached via road and train; the New Jersey transit train provides regular train service between Atlantic City and Philadelphia’s 30th street train station. Regarding the future of casino in Atlantic City; MGM Resorts International, which is fighting to get an approval from Massachusetts voters to build a casino in Springfield, Massachusetts has already intimated plans to pursue a gaming license in Atlantic City. MGM expects that, its forays into the New Jersey market will receive a green light before the end of September after meeting the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.
The New Jersey Casino Control Commission is the body charged with licensing casinos in the state. The quasi-judicial body also handles appeals and upholds penalties that have been imposed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. In 1984, casinos in New Jersey came together to form the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) to oversee reinvestment of funds in projects across the state. Since 1984, CRDA has invested about $2 billion in more than 400 projects in New Jersey. Atlantic City offers very many attractions for its visitors; aside from the world famous casinos, hotels and restaurants; revelers from all over the world can enjoy swimming at the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, stroll at the boardwalk and visit such landmarks as the Absecon Lighthouse and the Atlantic City Historical Museum.