Atlantic City has, until recently, become a major player in the gambling industry. This rapidly growing industry that saw the development of new businesses and innovative ideas has been forced to lose all momentum and shutdown as a result of the recent pandemic.
On 16 March 2020, all of the casinos in Atlantic City closed down, and with it the city’s tourism industry as well. Towards the end of 2020, the casinos were able to open following strict COVID-19 guidelines, but it’s feared that the damage has already been done.
The initial opening of casinos
While the casinos did eventually open, it took time for the idea to become a reality. In 1974, a referendum went public to legalise gambling in Atlantic City and went to a public vote but failed to pass. In 1976 the second referendum passed.
In 1978 the first casino outside of Nevada, Resorts, was opened in Atlantic City. The response was incredible, and people travelled from all over the states to gamble at the new casino. Fast forward over four decades later and the casino still exists – although it has experienced some rather turbulent years.
The booming years
In 2006, Atlantic City casino revenue was recorded at $5.2 billion with most of it coming from table games and https://onlineslotsnz.com/online-pokies-free-spins/. Online casinos and legal sportsbooks didn’t even feature in this equation.
2006 was also the year that the casinos were forced to close for three days, however, a bigger problem would soon hit Atlantic City. In November 2006 Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs launched and opened its first casino. Philadelphia also began looking into opening their own gambling halls. Since then, Maryland, New York and Massachusetts have also legalised gambling and entered the ever-expanding market.
The downfall of Atlantic City
In 2014, the once-booming town found itself in quite a difficult situation, fighting for survival. The city went from having 12 thriving casinos to only having eight as the Revel, Trump Plaza, Showboat and The Atlantic Club closed.
The Revel reopened as the Ocean Casino Resort in 2018 and was one of the biggest busts in the city’s history. The project cost $2.4 billion, but unfortunately, the resort closed two years later.
In the same breath that we mention busts, there were also several missed opportunities that could’ve proven to be successful. This is evident when walking through the city. Some parts provide no indication of the town’s rich gambling history and tell a story of what could have been.
Life before the pandemic
Even with all of the ups and downs it’s experienced, Atlantic City has always managed to rise from the ashes. Gambling has since grown from physical establishments to an online platform. This had proven to be beneficial when the pandemic hit in March 2020 and physical locations were forced to close. The online versions continued to thrive and revenue as a result of online gambling in New Jersey was reported to be $80 million in April 2020.
The future of gambling has changed
One thing that’s evident in Atlantic City’s history is that the industry is constantly changing, and you need to be properly equipped to manage it. As a survivor, Atlantic City will continue to rebuild itself and the future, albeit uncertain, seems to be positive.