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high rollers

Atlantic City’s History of High Rollers

The glamorous Atlantic City coastline.

Image by Bob Jagendoff / CC BY 2.0

There’s one thing New Jersey knows, and it’s how to have fun. Far from living in the shadow of its Big Apple neighbor, with its big-name Broadway shows, the state has led the way in entertainment for years. Such has been in no small part due to one of the most permissive legislatures in the land who have been at the forefront of gaming on the seafront of Atlantic City.

From Revolution to Education

New Jersey lotteries have made a significant contribution to the local economy for many years, funding everything from American Revolution troops to Ivy League colleges such as Princeton. The state was the first to vote for a state lottery and the first to allow players to choose their own numbers, with the launch of Pick 3 in 1975. Perhaps more importantly, it was only the second state, after Nevada, to permit casinos, paving the way for the bright lights and big dreams of Atlantic City.

A Bright Start

Revitalized by this crucial vote in 1976, Atlantic City quickly blossomed from a fading seaside town into a major resort. The first-ever casino was Resorts Casino, which grew from the once magnificent but now crumbling Chalfonte-Haddon Hall hotel. Such set the tone for the revitalization of the aging resort, with several other casinos breathing new life into tired hotels, including the Tropicana, which gave new purpose to the old Ambassador Hotel.

Within just a few years, Atlantic City grew from being yesterday’s news to the hottest holiday destination in America. No less than 16 casinos sprang up in the city by the sea, attracting investment from far and wide, such as a young Donald Trump, who plowed a reported $1 billion into the glamorous Trump Taj Mahal.

Many of these original casinos are still with us, including the pioneering Resorts Casino as well as Bally’s, the Borgata, Caesars, Harrah’s, the Golden Nugget and the previously mentioned Tropicana.

Turbulent Fortunes

Unfortunately, just like a trip to the casino, Atlantic City has seen many ups and downs in its short history. Following its spectacular launch, the city enjoyed a great run of luck, attracting visitors from across the country and around the world. A playground for the rich and famous, the city not only hosted top-quality casinos but also hosted international sporting events like world title fights, featuring the legendary Mike Tyson.

Sadly, those days were not to last. As more and more states legalized casinos, rising to 20 of the 50, Atlantic City’s unique selling point faded fast. By 2010, the number of casinos had dropped to only 12, and by 2018, it was down to seven. Fortunately, the city appears to have taken a turn for the better in the last 12 months, with two new casinos, the Hard Rock Atlantic City (formerly the Trump Taj Mahal) and the Ocean Resort Casino (formerly the Revel) both opening their doors last summer, and the total number of establishments back to a healthy 10.


Image by Wcam/ CC BY-SA 4.0

Online Innovation

Of course, New Jersey has not only led the country with brick-and-mortar casinos, but it has been a pioneer online, too. There a dozen online casinos based in New Jersey, with the state being only the third to allow online gaming in 2013. In real New Jersey style, all 12 operators launched simultaneously in a spectacular event on November 21, 2013 and have since generated over $100 million in tax revenue for the state every year.

Far from challenging their physical counterparts, smart thinking on behalf of the legislators has helped to protect the physical casinos. License terms insist that every online casino must have servers located in a corresponding brick-and-mortar establishment.

The Future of Fun

For many players, it is not a case of choosing between online and physical casinos. In many ways, the two complement each other, as demonstrated by the launch of two new multimillion-dollar ventures in the city. New players often use online casinos to learn the games before their visit to a glitzy gambling hall while more established players will use them to hone their skills ahead of a high-rolling night.

Whichever style of gaming you prefer, from the keyboard to the boardwalk, from the virtual to the physical, New Jersey has always been and always will be the place to play.

Tasty Recipes for Memorial Day Weekend

#NoFoodComa – Tasty Recipes for Memorial Day Weekend

By Beth Nydick

Whenever I see anyone in the armed forces out at a restaurant or getting coffee, I honestly get choked up, I say thank you for their service and buy them their coffee/meal. I feel like it means something, it says to them that they do make a difference and those of us at home care. My grandfather served in WW2 and every year he would stand outside the supermarket selling little red poppies to raise funds for veterans. He passed in 1991 and every year since then I buy out whatever the veteran has at my local store. Think about buying some as you go and buy your groceries. This year, let’s all be grateful that there are brave men and women that stand up for our freedoms. Happy Memorial Day!

To have a great (and healthy) BBQ or party this Memorial Day weekend, click on the titles of the recipes below:

Grilled Lemon-Oregano Chicken Drumsticks
Healthy Sausage and Peppers
Wounded Carrot Salad
Creamy Penne Pasta with Vegetables
Cauliflower Pizza Bites – Gluten Free
Tropical Fruit Salad
Black Bean Brownies
Chickpea Blondies

Alfa Romeo

Watch #HipTV from Alfa Romeo of Morris County

#HipNJ‘s Lisa Marie Latino hosts our latest episode of Hip New Jersey from Alfa Romeo of Morris County in Whippany

In this episode, #HipNJ meets the local people behind this iconic brand. We take a ride in an Alfa Romeo Stelvio to learn all about Tom Maoli, founder of Celebrity Motor Car Company (parent company of Alfa Romeo of Morris County) and his journey into becoming one of the Garden State’s top entrepreneurs. We also get to know the fabulous females behind Alfa Romeo of Morris County’s all-women executive team.

Also featured in this high octane show:

Fashion with Compassion at Rockleigh Country Club, benefitting St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. Our red carpet coverage features interviews with Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Dolores Catania, Margaret Josephs and Jennifer Aydin.

-Former New York Giant and NFL player Rasheed Simmons and his Belmar eatery, Simply Southern.

-Tricia Carey of TENCEL® branded fibers by Lenzing talks all about the hip, sustainable brand and their involvement in this year’s New York Denim Days Festival, happening on June 8 & 9.

You can watch Hip New Jersey on HomeTowne TV, NJ on AIR or on HipNewJersey.com.