UNITED STATES—Atlantic City certainly had aims to become the next Las Vegas in the 1970s, however things certainly went far from the expectations that they had at the beginning. Things certainly have not improved today, either, with many of the same problems continuing to plague the city within the state of New Jersey.
Whilst Las Vegas and the state of Nevada can be considered to be thriving, the same cannot be said about Atlantic City. There have been a number of bankruptcies over the decades, as well as a number of casinos closing in the area in what seems to be an annual event.
Atlantic City in its early days
New Jersey has not exactly been the state to bring an influx of tourists from across the world to American shores throughout history. Many that do choose to visit the eastern coast will generally favor destinations such as neighboring New York City, Boston in Massachusetts and Florida further south.
Indeed, the seasons play an invariable role in attracting tourism as well, with the summer months generally being the better, whilst harsh winters can be felt in the state of New Jersey because of its close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.
Atlantic City underwent a transformation in the 1970s as plans were made to turn the city from a vacation resort that had been initially focused on attracting tourists to its beaches and amusement park into one that was designed to challenge Las Vegas’ famous gambling scene.
Atlantic City grew faster than Las Vegas at one point
Perhaps hard to imagine, but Atlantic City actually grew faster than Las Vegas at one point in time. The New Jersey city saw a huge increase in annual growth rate between the first few years it was created, with a growth of 55% compared to Las Vegas’ 15.6%.
However, despite the early growth and encouraging figures, these numbers had drastically fallen after a few years and annual gambling revenues started to slow in New Jersey. Nevada, on the other hand, continued to grow.
It is strange, though, how the casino scene has struggled to sustain itself in the state as sports betting in NJ is huge nowadays. Admittedly, though, the fact that many can do it without having to travel to a physical establishment and are able to place a bet through a mobile device, for example, perhaps is a reason as to why there just is not as much interest in the physical casino industry.
Las Vegas is still growing as a top tourism destination
Whilst there are bright lights and the fame and fortune that can be associated with Las Vegas, not much can be associated with Atlantic City.
Las Vegas remains a tourist hotspot for many each year and visitor numbers are continuously on the rise, whereas Atlantic City numbers have continued to be on the decline since the early 2000s.
Recessions may have impacted the amount of disposable income that gamblers had to play with, but that was only a small blip for those as Las Vegas continued to see its popularity increase once the tough times were over.